CJ was selected as one of the four metro venues to screen a live performance of the Australian classic, ‘The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll,’ direct from the State Theatre Centre of WA on May 18. This event was funded by Black Swan State Theatre Company and Lottery West. Students from Drama, Live Production, Hospitality and Music courses hosted a memorable evening of exceptional theatre, delicious food and soulful music. The event attracted around 70 people and quite an even mix of staff, students, family and community members.

Drama teacher, Libby Hinton, explained why CJ was given the honour of screening the Black Swan’s production to the CJ community: “We have been working closely with the Black Swan State Theatre Company for 4 years by attending their plays, participating in backstage tours and their guest speaker program. Also, each year we have one of Black Swan’s lighting designers, sound designers and set designers visit CJ to meet the students, discuss their roles and designs and answer questions. We are in the third year of the program.

In light of this collaboration, Black Swan invited me to their 2018 season launch in November 2017, and suggested CJ be added to their Live Broadcast Program. Acting principal Karen Read gave this the green light and a meeting was held at CJ’s Jacaranda Theatre with myself and two Black Swan staff members. We designed the event to feature student performances, dinner, music and the live broadcast, allowing parents and community members to visit and enjoy the campus facilities.

On the April school holidays, we employed a local company to install a satellite dish on the theatre, which was then connected to a decoder box and a high powered projector, installed by Staging Connections. Staging Connections just happen to be our Registered Training Organisation for our Certificate lll Live Production course, so the company oversees and issues the certificate for the course.”

The evening program from 5.30-6.30 pm featured ATAR Drama students performing monologues; from 6.30- 7.15pm our Hospitality students served paella for dinner;  and at 7.15pm the audience was seated in our Jacaranda Theatre for the live broadcast of the ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’, direct from the State Theatre Centre of WA.

A happy community member on the night, Brian Hunt, said, ‘Thank you very much for a very nice evening at your school. The show was as we recalled from so many years ago, and the dinner and friendliness of staff and students a special bonus. Thanks very much.”

Of course the night would not have happened without the fabulous collaboration of the Black Swan State Theatre Company with CJ’s teachers and students. Thanks to all involved!

Click to view more photos from the night