VSV Theatre Studies students coming to an airwave near you!

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Virtual School Victoria’s (VSV) Year 12 Theatre Studies students are refusing to let a pandemic play pandemonium with their production of Hoods, which will now be performed as a radio play.

Hoods, by Australian playwright Angela Betzien, was scheduled to be performed by the Year 12 Theatre Studies students at Melbourne’s Meat Market in May. Coronavirus social distancing restrictions meant that VSV’s Theatre Studies teachers needed to draw on their creativity to find an alternative way to stage the play.

‘The world changed so quickly when we were hit with a global pandemic. We needed to find a way to stage this work virtually,’ said Vanessa O’Neill, VCE Theatre Studies teacher at VSV.

‘We spoke with a professional sound designer to explore how the piece could be transformed into a radio play that could be broadcast online.

‘It was a great learning opportunity for the students who not only worked with the sound designer, but also a professional actor to help them develop vocal skills for the wide range of characters,’ she said.

Hoods is a contemporary version of Hansel and Gretel: a suburban tale of survival and solidarity against the odds.

Each night two ‘Hoods’ ride a train to a wrecking yard on the outskirts of the city. They are the storytellers with the power to fast forward, pause and rewind. Tonight they tell the story of three kids left in a car.

It’s Friday, KFC night and the last day of school before Christmas. Kyle, Jessie and baby brother Troy are waiting in the car for their mum. As night approaches, the car park takes on a dark and sinister aspect filled with strange and familiar characters. The shopping centre closes, mum still hasn’t returned and the baby won’t stop crying.

Hoods celebrates the resilience of young people in the face of adversity.

The production features the work of all 15 members of VSV’s Year 12 Theatre Studies class and a dynamic and extensive soundtrack created by VSV’s student Sound Design team.

The radio play, which runs for 35 minutes, will be broadcast at 11.30am on Tuesday 21 July, followed by a question and answer session with the Theatre Studies students who have created this piece.

Email voneill@vsv.vic.edu.au to express an interest in attending the performance and receive the performance space password. The link to the livestream can be accessed here. There is also a complimentary program and ebook of students’ work.

You can listen to a one minute trailer for the radio play here.

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