Young dance and theatre students from Grand Avenue State School truly extended themselves in front of sell-out crowds at the recent Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage (CGEN) extravaganza.
The production, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from July 14-16, consisted of four shows and featured more than 1,700 state school students, the biggest cohort to date.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the production was “exceptional”.
“Today we saw students of all ages, from kindy right through to Year 12, shine in this outstanding production, and I want to congratulate everyone involved,” she said.
The annual event, now in its 18th year, is an initiative of the Queensland Government that aims to develop student skills.
“The talent we have in our Queensland state schools is world-class,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Grand Avenue State School student dance coordinator Elizabeth Broad agreed.
“This is an exciting opportunity offered each year to state school students to work with industry professionals in the performing arts,” she said.
Ms Broad took 28 of her students in Years 2 to 6 under her wing for a five-month-long preparation that included auditions, weekend rehearsals, professional workshops, and a very strenuous last week.
“With the help of many parents, I supervised rehearsals and spent the week with them at the BCEC. It was like camping without the sleepover part!,” she said.
It followed the school’s excellent results at the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge (BPAC) Eisteddfod in June, which included a Very Highly Commended award in the Hip-Hop category.
Grand Avenue parent Banura said her children loved being involved in the event. “My children enjoyed every minute of it; I am very thankful to Grand Avenue State School and the performing arts teachers,” she said.
Year 2 student Isabella said she loved performing on the stage – and especially the glitter cannon, which was used for effects.
Grand Avenue students Senaya and Nehaya jointly said the show “brings everyone all together from the restrictions like the floods and COVID-19”.
Ms Broad added a special mention to Sonal Sethi for being selected in the Musical Theatre item, and for Madisyn Takai, who was selected in the Senior Hip-Hop category.
“She [Madisyn] was the only primary aged student to be chosen,” Ms Broad said.
Madisyn said: “I loved being part of such an amazing show, with so many talented people… making new friends, and I can’t wait for CGEN 2023!”
CGEN 2022 will be televised nationally on Network 10 later in the year.