Rising Stars: Drama Students Shortlisted for Top Class 2024

Rising Stars: Drama Students Shortlisted for Top Class 2024

Each year, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) hosts Top Class, a series of concerts presenting outstanding performing arts students who have completed VCE and VCE VET studies in their area of excellence from schools across the state.

For Year 12 Grammarians Ava Allen, Esther Nastri and Isabella Troise, Top Class Drama was always in the back of their minds throughout their study of Units 3 and 4 of VCE Drama in Year 11 last year. Following the release of VCE results in December, Ava, Esther and Isabella received the news that they’d been shortlisted as performers for Top Class Drama and were invited to audition for a place in the lineup.

“We each felt a great sense of accomplishment along with some nerves and excitement that the opportunity had arrived.” Isabella says.

Esther as ‘Miss Honey’ and Isabella as ‘Matilda’ in the 2022 MGGS Senior Years Production of Matilda: The Musical.

For their audition, they were to rework their VCE Drama Solos, which they performed back in October 2023. Their solos were a culmination of months of hard work and planning. The process began in early Term 3, when they started their research, brainstorms, ideas and drafts in class. Drama students are required to build their performance around one of the prescribed structures outlined for them. Ava and Esther both chose to write, direct and perform their version of ‘The Backstage Crew Member’ (inspired by Oscar Wilde’s farcical play for ‘trivial people’ The Importance of Being Ernest) and Isabella selected The Court Attendant (inspired by the pop concert-style, modern retelling of the lives of Henry the VIII’s 6 wives, Six: The Musical). Outside of class, Ava, Esther and Isabella spent significant time and effort preparing other crucial elements of their performance.

Lots of hard work went into preparing their audition performances.

Whether it was Esther’s travels from vintage packing shed to packing shed, until finally, two very old (and very unsafe!) ladders of similar enough height were acquired in Tyabb and her repair job could begin for her set; or Ava’s need of a saw to cut down her prop’s frame or her unending testing of Velcro in the hopes it would be strong enough to hold the weight of a red velvet curtain; or Isabella’s long nights of sewing and bedazzling boots, as she broke needles (and punctured fingertips) sewing the boning into the panelled skirt and Tudor sleeves of her Six-inspired costume – their efforts were undoubtedly exhausting! They reflected:

“The reward of knowing we’d put so much effort into every little aspect of our solos, from scripting to costumes, to our sets and acquiring sizeable bruises and cuts as the rehearsals became more frequent, was priceless. It filled us with a great sense of pride and achievement by its end.”

Ava takes centre stage as ‘Pepper’ during the Senior Years Production of Mamma Mia! in 2023.

So along with 99 other Victorian students, Ava, Esther and Isabella dusted off their scripts and fished out their costumes and props for ‘one final hurrah’ at the Top Class Drama auditions in early January. Our Grammarians were very grateful to have been invited to audition in front of the VCE Drama Chief Examiners, joining the top 10% performers in the state with a shot at being selected for this year’s show.  

We congratulate Ava, Esther and Isabella on this achievement and are so proud not only of their work towards their VCE Drama curriculum and assessment last year, but having the self-discipline and courage to return to their works this year and perform again for a shot at Top Class.

We are excited to announce that Esther Nastri, one of our 2024 Drama Captains who achieved a perfect study score of 50 in VCE Drama last year, was successful in her audition and has been selected to perform at Top Class Drama. She will represent Melbourne Girls Grammar when she performs on stage at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 19 April at 10am.

book tickets for top class drama HERE