News: Victorian State School Spectacular 2023

John Cain Arena
9 September

The 2023 Victorian State Schools Spectacular (VSSS) returns for its annual extravaganza for two shows on Saturday 9 September 2023 at 1pm and 6:30pm at John Cain Arena.

Over 2000 Victorian students are part of an extraordinary eight-month creative journey, which will culminate in the state’s budding creative talent taking to the stage as circus artists, puppeteers, musicians, singers, dancers and skaters, as well as further students taking on the incredibly important behind-the-scenes roles in stage management, lighting, sound, costumes, and production.

Photos from the 2019 Victorian State School Spectacular

This year’s show – Happy Travels – will follow an intrepid group of hapless tourists as they traverse the globe in a cavalcade of circus mayhem. The arena audience will be amazed by giant puppets and a dazzling circus fairground with awe inspiring aerialists, while the score will deliver music from the Pacific, Japan, Britain, Italy and Australia’s First Nations. Circus performers are being trained by professional circus artists Dislocate Theatre and this year will also feature the First Nations Ensemble who are working with leading First Nations circus company Na Djinang Circus.

Carefully curated through suggestions from the cast, the songs and music in this year’s show include amongst a wide selection, Katy Perry’s Firework, Age of Reason by John Farnham and Sitting on Top of the World by Delta Goodrem, Calum Scott’s Around the World, Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer and Olivia Newton-John’s classic hit Xanadu.

The VSSS is a proud tradition in government schools and offers students the opportunity to take part in this heart-warming performing arts showcase performing to thousands of people and later broadcast on television. Happy Travels offers best wishes to students on their journey of self- discovery.

The 2000 students are made up of Principal Vocalists, Principal Dancers, Backing Vocalists, Victorian State Schools Choir, a 51-piece orchestra, 1100 mass dance students and 960 in the mass choir Providing the experience of a lifetime, participating primary and secondary school students work with industry professionals across a number of disciplines as part of the preparation and performance of the Spectacular.

Musical Director Chong Lim said “I wish I had this opportunity when I was starting out. Students make lifelong friends and it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded people who are interested in the performing arts.”

VSSS Creative team includes: Creative Director Neill Gladwin (Edinburgh Perrier Award winner); Creative Producer Simon K Patterson (White Night, Australian Open); Musical Director Chong Lim AM (Musical Director on Dancing with the Stars, John Farnham); Dance Director Yvette Lee, (Dancing with the Stars, X-Factor Australia, So You Think You Can Dance); Costume Designer Isaac Lummis (Hello Dolly!) PRG for lighting and rigging; Creative Technology for camera and LED screens; and NW Group for Audio.

Supporting the Victorian Government’s Education State targets, the Spectacular ensures more students reach one of the highest levels of young achievement in the arts, while building pride in local schools and creating more happy, healthy and engaged students.

Since its inception in 1995, the Victorian State Schools Spectacular has been helping students to get hands-on training and mentoring both on stage as singers, dancers and performers and behind the scenes in audio, lighting, video production, stage management, costume, and hair and make-up.

According to Creative Director Neill Gladwin, “This year’s show will be nothing short of special, offering our wonderfully talented students the tremendous opportunity to perform in front of an audience of thousands.”

Tickets available now

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