Davidson's performing arts showcase celebrates 30th season

Davidson High’s ‘Season of Performing Arts’ extravaganza is hitting the stage for its 30th anniversary. Jim Griffiths reports.

Dancers on a stage. Dancers on a stage.
Image: Davidson High's 'Season of Performing Arts' features 250 students in a music, dance and drama extravaganza.

For the past 30 years, Davidson High School students have been entertaining the local community in an extraordinary stage production, the ‘Season of Performing Arts’ (SOPA).

Starting as a dance performance in 1994, SOPA now showcases the musical, choral, dramatic and comedic talents of students.

Principal David Rule said SOPA was an opportunity for students to perform on stage in front of family, friends and community members.

“This year, we’ve invited former students from past SOPA shows to perform with our current students as part of a reunion show,” he said.

SOPA 2024 will feature a stage band, dance group, drama ensemble and vocal ensemble comprising current and past students. Part of the performance will include a medley of songs from the musical Grease.

A group of students in costume on stage. A group of students in costume on stage.
Image: The SOPA performances will again follow a musical theme in 2024, with a medley of songs from Grease.

With six, two-hour shows over two days, SOPA includes special performances for local primary schools and senior citizens.

General admission tickets are on sale now for two evening performances on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 June at Glen Street Theatre.

SOPA started in 1994 as a biannual dance event, created by former teacher Kim Peade, who also wrote the first curriculum and syllabus for dance in NSW public schools.

Now the major event on the school’s performing arts calendar, SOPA features 250 performers and about 50 stage crew, as well as students with an interest in lighting, staging and other technical aspects of show business.

All performers audition for the show.

Students playing instruments. Students playing instruments.
Image: SOPA 2024 will feature a stage band, dance group, drama ensemble and vocal ensemble comprising current and past students.

Year 12 drama and music students Nathan Barlow and Courtney Drake said SOPA provided students with valuable life skills.

Courtney, who plays bass guitar, fell in love with SOPA as a primary school audience member.

“It’s given me communication and time management skills. There’s so much we need to get done leading up to SOPA, so it’s given me those skills from the age of 12 or 13,” she said.

Nathan said the show was a great way to meet new people and learn more about the world of performance.

“It’s a really good way just to make new friends, and if you’re in the stage crew, it’s a good way to just to see how everything works,” he said.

Both students said SOPA relied on the performers and stage crew working in harmony to bring the show together.

“It really gives us a good dynamic for a workplace or teamwork setting in the future,” Courtney said.

Nathan said it was great feeling to be on stage performing in front of so many people.

“Hearing the applause of the audience at the end makes me feel like, ‘wow, I actually did that’ and people are enjoying what I’m doing. It just encourages me to keep going,” Nathan said.

Tickets to SOPA 2024 can be purchased at https://glenstreet.com.au/whats-on/davidson-high-schools-30th-season-performing-arts-2024

Dances strike a pose on stage. Dances strike a pose on stage.
Image: All SOPA performers audition for the show.
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