If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the word ‘cancelled’ has become synonymous with daily life, especially in schools. In the past 48 hours our school was forced to cancel the greatest cultural event in its calendar our Senior School Production.
This year’s performance of Mamma Mia! was slated for its Opening Night on Friday 28 May, and so it was that on the evening of Thursday 27 May, with a lockdown looming, we did what every school has had to do during this pandemic, we adapted.
At 9.30pm, when it became clear Melbourne would be locked down, we pivoted.
Working throughout the night, into the early hours of the morning, the team at the Frankston Art Centre and our exceptional Performing Arts Team concocted a plan to host a matinee, just one show, so that our parents could see their children perform.
We have unwittingly broken the hearts of our students before, cancelling our 2020 Production of the Sound of Music with three months’ notice. Yet sitting in a hall, on the morning before the Opening Night in 2021, the 89 faces of complete devastation was indescribable. Eight months of work and countless hours of effort seemingly lost to the uncertainty of an insidious enemy. When we announced there was a glimmer of hope, when we received that final approval that the show could go on, there was an overwhelming and palpable relief in our hall. We had the one thing we all need in these times, hope.
With only four hours’ notice, our families were contacted to attend the matinee of our musical.
With a commitment born of the uniqueness of community spirit, our audience gathered and by 3pm there were over 200 people waiting to be seated at in the audience. And so it was, in adapting to the circumstances that surrounded us, in finding hope when there was seemingly none, our students, our staff and our school triumphed.
There are heroes in our every day, and we need to remember this always, especially now. There are people who will move mountains, who humbly and without want for accolade, create the conditions for the success of others.
And then there is hope.
Hope is what will make days like yesterday possible. Hope is what gives us strength. Hope is what makes us believe in the possibility of tomorrow.
Hope is what gave our students the chance to live the dream.