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Growling Oakley Matson from Bassendean PS accepted his highly commended certificate in character from his performance of The reluctant lion. Katelyn Barr and Lucy Coates were runner-up winners in that same category. Bassendean PS student Judah Wheeler (in the blue jacket) gave a winning performance in Car trouble. Picture: MATTHEW MASSANG

Staging speech and drama festival fun

Speech and drama took centre stage when five schools got creative at a festival that drew in over 170 students last week.

The number has grown since the festival’s inception last year, which debuted with two schools.

This year, the number of participants at the Governor Stirling Senior High School Speech and Drama Festival were up from last year, with the addition of Guildford Grammar School.

The performances of Woodbridge, Midvale and Bassendean primary schools and Guildford Grammar School were judged by Susan Vincent and Kerry Goode from Garrick Theatre and Sallie Ketteringham, Marjorie DeCaux and Guy Jackson from Marloo Theatre.

Governor Stirling SHS festival coordinator Olga Konstantouras said studying speech and drama improved the self-confidence of students.

She said it also gave them better public speaking skills.

Ms Konstantouras said the idea to put on the festival grew from  her  desire to create a collaborative environment for teachers of performing arts in primary and secondary schools.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that certainly is true,” Ms Konstantouras said.

“If we are to develop love for the dramatic arts in our children, one can’t do it alone.

“We need a village – a collaborative community.”

Ms Konstantouras said the festival created an opportunity to bring local schools together to showcase the best and nurture a competitive spirit.

She said the standard of performance was high and the enthusiasm of students and support from their teachers amazing.

“The performing arts teachers, their students, vision, organisation, community spirit and the extra hours put in to help students perform to such a high standard should be commended,” she said.

“Participants were all wonderful ambassadors for the performing arts in their school.”

Ms Konstantouras said students who participate in the festival were encouraged to grow as performers.

“We intend to continue to provide these rich experiences for students, so we hope in the future even more schools will join us.”

About Rashelle Predovnik

Rashelle has been the senior journalist at Echo News since June 2011. She was a finalist in the WA Media Awards in 2015 and 2013. In 2014 Rashelle took out the whole print category in the Deborah Kirwan Media Awards for a series of stories she wrote that has positively influenced community attitudes towards seniors. In 2013, Rashelle was a finalist in the Consumer Protection Media Awards. Before joining Echo News, Rashelle worked at WA Business News, Media Monitors, she was a freelance journalist and taught journalism units at Murdoch University.

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