Musical Behind the Scenes

1 September 2023

Producing a school musical is a huge collaborative effort.

There is so much to consider when putting on a school musical; the music, set, costumes, hair and make-up, choreography, stage management and the long list of technical and physical logistics. At St Peter’s Woodlands we are blessed to have so many teachers, parents and old scholars who possess great skill and expertise in various fields. With their help we are able to put together such high quality school musicals. Mr DeLaine acts as the producer of the show meaning he oversees all departments and artistic direction of the show.

Set Building
The set is designed and created entirely inhouse by our senior students under the creative direction of Art Teacher, Jess Hancock and Head of Arts, Mark DeLaine. Designed as a real-world exercise, the students are given a design brief and deadline to work towards.

The Year 5 students are given guidance as they learn about design functionality and the difference between fine art and theatre design. Students are asked to consider things like, how will the set appear from the audience’s perspective, how will the lights interact with the colours of the set, how will the sets transition between scenes? This year for ‘The Little Mermaid, Jr’, construction has involved a lot of paper mache, painting transportable sets and use of recycled materials.

Having already assisted with a musical a year prior, the Year 6 students are given a little more independence and are tasked with designing set and props themselves. They are responsible for ensuring the props serve the performers, where weight, sturdiness and functionality are considered, alongside fitting with the aesthetics of the show. It’s so wonderful to have the involvement of our students, particularly from those who may not be interested in the performance aspect of the musical, they can still be a part of the production and see their work up in lights

Costume, Hair and Makeup
With two casts and over 140 students performing in the musical, including being part of the choir or leading the show onstage, there are a lot of costumes to design, source, fit and sew.

We are so fortunate to have the help of passionate volunteers who spend countless hours making our children look spectacular on stage. Julie DeLaine, (AKA Mark’s Mum) has generously given her time for a total number of 3 musicals. She ensures with Mr DeLaine’s guidance that we source, make and borrow the costumes we need. This show has over 200 costumes!

This year SPW parent and music tutor, Angela Bowman, has put her hand up to also help make costumes. Having sewed costumes for many cosplay events her skill is something to behold – we won’t give away anymore than that, you’ll have to book a ticket to see the show!!

To complete each character’s look Mel Roocke and Maddi Rance (Year 5 teacher and JP Visual Art & Library Teacher) head the makeup department, where parent volunteers assist getting each of the children stage-ready before each performance. As you all know, each child looks spectacular in their full costume.

Dance Choreography
Year 6 Teacher (Maddi Honor) and Japanese Teacher (Skye Baldacchino) by day, dance choreographer extraordinaire by night! With the help of these two dancers and the assistance of Maddi Rance (Art Teacher and Library Assistant) the musical numbers are elevated with amazing choreography.

This year the musical includes a dance troupe, a group of students who perform more complex dance routines throughout the show. Skye, who has an extensive dance background, has choreographed their routines and worked alongside Maddi who has choreographed the larger dance scenes.

Creative Team & Behind the Scenes
Mark DeLaine, Paul Mesecke, Michele Lewis and Sarah Cropley are the creative and logistical team responsible for piecing it all together, technically, dramatically and musically. Each year they manage to put on a show that never disappoints! To assist them behind the scenes, we are excited to have SPW old scholars Zara Hutchison, Zephyr Brus and Hazel Osborne to assist in the stage management, ensuring students are making their cues, with the right props, costumes and the occasional prompting.

The musical is only four weeks away and as we share more sneak peeks we encourage you to book your family’s ticket – you won’t want to miss this one.

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who generously give up their time and share their skills. Creating a show with so much community input is one of the most magical parts of the production.

Book Tickets here 



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