They had just 10 minutes to create it, and only one minute to perform – but the kudos of an impromptu creative production will last a lot longer for Year 5 students from The Armidale School who yesterday won a drama competition against 1000 others from 113 schools across the state.
The team took out the Creative Producers challenge, one of 10 that make up the da Vinci Decathlon, an academic competition for gifted and talented students hosted by Knox Grammar School.
“First we had to select which three of us from the team would do this challenge, then we were given a poem and had 10 minutes to organise it before performing it impromptu in front of the adjudicators, without a script,” said Hugo Catterall, who “tried to remember a few of the main lines from the poem to put into it”.
“The poem was about an Aboriginal man telling a young Aboriginal boy not to cross a creek because it was the bunyip’s place, and the remnants of his victims were everywhere,” added Ben Rowe.
“We acted it out with Hugo as the Aboriginal man, Frank Perrottet as the boy, and I was the bunyip.”
The boys couldn’t believe it when they were announced as the category winners.
“We were like, ‘what’? That’s us’!” Hugo said.
The three boys all take Trinity Guild drama lessons as an extra-curricular activity at TAS, “but doing impromptu speeches in class also helped,” Ben said.
Sixteen boys from Years 5 and 6 represented TAS at the event, being split into teams for the different challenges. Later in the year, TAS will host for the third time, Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon championships, under an agreement with Knox Grammar.