Naracoorte High School staged a major mid-year production, Rhinoceros, at the Town Hall to critical acclaim last week.
“I received some beautiful feedback from my colleague this morning, she said, ‘That’s amazing, what you’re able to do’," Senior drama teacher and director Belinda Carroll said.
“There are some kids here, they may not be always engaged in school. But now they know lines, and some of them are seen in a whole new light.
“We’ve had people watch the show repeatedly.”
The idea to do Rhinoceros didn’t come from Ms Carroll, but rather the star of the show, Nathan Miles, who played protagonist Berenger.
“I just love absurdist plays,” Nathan said of his choice.
“I connect with the character of Berenger. I actually become Berenger a week before the play, I do method acting.
“The audience feedback has been really good. I like the way it’s come together.”
The curriculum for the senior drama classes are largely driven by the students, with Ms Carroll giving the students a lot of agency to pursue their own interests.
The play was made up of Year 10s, 11s and 12s who all worked together to bring the play to life.
Rhinoceros was written by Eugene Ionescu. It was originally a thinly-veiled metaphor for Nazism in France, but the high school’s condensed version was stripped back to focus on the inability for people to relate and communicate with each other.
“It’s sociological, rather than socio-political,” Ms Carroll said.
The cast had been working hard, presenting performances on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
“I’ve always wanted to be an actor, since I was about seven or eight,” Nathan said.
“I’m English, I used to live in England. I remember having to do a nativity play, and I had to sing in front of everyone in a church. And you know, churches in England, they’re huge!
“But I just loved it.”
Nathan’s key inspiration for his performance of Berenger was Rowan Atkinson, due to Atkinson’s talents in physical comedy and comic timing.
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