This time last year The McDonald College Musical Theatre students were being home-schooled.
After their return to campus, they were allowed to resume their creative practice only gradually.
Their planned season of A Chorus Line was scrapped… the College’s big annual showcase at NIDA each September was a no-go and then dance returned long before singing did.
So, when the lights come up on Fame at the College’s North Strathfield campus on June 2, it will be a moment of explosive exuberance.
“We have forgotten so quickly just how little we were able to do last year due to Covid,” said The McDonald College Director of Performing Arts Peter Kraft.
Fame’s director is Dolores Dunbar, who has book-ended her daily directing duties performing in a celebrated season of the Broadway musical Half Time at The Hayes Theatre in King’s Cross.
“The kids are just so happy to be back in the studio, they’re working really hard,” Ms Dunbar said.
She chose Fame because of the poignancy it has for The McDonald College.
“That story of emerging actors, singers, musicians, dancers… it’s about what we do every day,” she said.
“The McDonald College is Fame School!”
Amy Petsalis is one of four choreographers who have worked on the show, she has rehearsed the opening number.
Ms Petsalis said she thinks the highlight of students’ days are the two hours they spend in the rehearsal studio.
“They really look forward to it, this is where they can escape,” she said.
Peter Kraft is hoping people in the community who have missed seeing live shows during Covid will buy a ticket to Fame.
“At The McDonald College we tend to take for granted the great work our students and staff do,” he said.
“Some of my most rewarding occasions are when outsiders see our shows for the first time, with professional costumes, sets and lighting, and I’m reminded of just what a special place this is.”