ARARAT College year 10 student Lauren Bowles will not be on stage during the Victorian State Schools Spectacular next week, but she’ll play a key role in co-ordinating 3000 performers.
As one of the largest recurring productions in Australia, the Victorian State Schools Spectacular includes a 64 piece orchestra, 1300 voice choir, 1200 mass dancers, 30 lead vocalists, 16 principal dancers, 20 ensemble dancers, 8 backing vocalists, roller skaters and puppeteers and more.
Participating students have the opportunity to work with performing arts industry professionals including directors and choregrphers who have worked on films like Scooby Doo, Happy Feet and Moulin Rouge and stage musicals such as King Kong the Musical, Hairspray, and The Boy from Oz.
Ararat College is also sending students to be part of the mass dance and Pomonal Primary School will contribute to the mass Choir.
Lauren said she was looking forward to being part of the crew who will set up and manage the three-hour show in Melbourne’s 10,500-seat Hisense Area.
“I have been a rehearsal stage manager for the past few months and during production week I’ll be an operations assistant,” she said.
“It’s very much about getting the backstage area set up for artists and everyone else.”
Lauren has worked on stage crews for school plays but her involvement in the schools spectacular have been her biggest productions by far.
“There are about five other rehearsal stage managers who got split off into different jobs,” she said.
“How I became involved was our school was part of the mass dance a few years ago and when we were there there were posters saying ‘apply to work backstage’ and I applied.
“This is my second year in the same job.”
Lauren said she liked the technological and organisational challenges of working backstage.
“The idea of that is really exciting for me,” she said.
“I’m nervous but it’s exciting. We start on Saturday and the show is next Saturday.”
Most of the school performers will head down to Melbourne on Wednesday, at which point Lauren and the rest of the crew would have already been working multiple full days at the venue.
The schools spectacular will perform on September 16 and will be broadcast on TV in December.