Each year students are awarded a merit certificate and trophy to honour their hard work and dedication towards their achievement in Speech, Drama and Musical Theatre. It takes the talent of many students to produce a show that is polished and engaging, and all should be recognised for their commitment throughout the year, and efforts on the day.
However, to further encourage the dedication, flair and excellence of student performances on the day, a major prize is given, entitled ‘The Grace Studios Perpetual Award’. This award is given to one student each year based on their performance at the end of year concert. An independent adjudicator views the show and gives feedback to the studio to select the winner of the Grace Studios Perpetual Award.
The criteria for the winning recipient is based on quality not quantity. This means that the award is given to a student who exhibits refined vocal skills, unfaltering characterisation, controlled and intentional movement, energy, flair and most importantly, stage presence. The Grace Studios Perpetual Award is another way to commend outstanding students for their efforts.
Some reflections on our 2018 winner -
Mum & Dad:
Since you last saw our child, she now goes by the name Sadie. I'll refer to her here - and everywhere - by her preferred name and pronouns.
When we heard our child's name called out for winning the Perpetual Award we were obviously thrilled as well as surprised. It amazes me how many talented and brave young people performed and shone on the night. It is a great credit to all of the performers, and it led me to think about how important participating in drama and honing those skills and talents is for young people.
While winning the Perpetual Award (or as we call it, the Oscar) is an amazing feather in Sadie's cap, we feel that her biggest victory is how far she has come in developing her sense of self, her confidence and her ability to cooperate with others. We give a lot of credit for these things to her experience with drama. Every week, she gets to join others and just play - experiment with ideas, stories, and characters - and for Sadie this is extremely fun and rewarding. Each year in the showcase we get to see her influence in the production (the murderous Russian babushka doll is very Sadie) and it is amazing how much she has developed as a performer.
We are so grateful to the amazing teachers at Grace Studios - Lauren, Emma and Anna Grace - who have all played an important part in Sadie's young life. Thank you so much! Sadie absolutely loves being part of Grace Studios thanks to you guys.
Kate & Lander Robinson
2018 was another action-packed year of classes with Sadie and her highly intelligent, and mega creative, brain! From captivating characterisations of every Harry Potter character in existence, to detailed descriptions of new self-devised characters (like the ‘Dancing Madonna’ and ‘Jodie Jones’) for Sadie’s latest films, Sadie always has a story to tell.
Sadie’s brilliance did not go unnoticed in her third grade AMEB Speech and Drama exam, at which the examiner remarked to other students, and in the report, “what a creative candidate” Sadie is, having “presented at honours level”. Most impressive is Sadie’s memory. It is no small feat for a year six student to memorise a five minute poem and recite it with close attention to rhythm, enjambment, intonation and pause. Poetry is perhaps one of the hardest mediums, even for experienced performers. Sadie presented ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ at the 2018 showcase with colour and dramatic impact. Her sense of timing and melodrama perfectly captured the dramatic irony which Paterson intended.
Musical Director and Adjudicator, Sally Redman, found Sadie’s performance convincing, entertaining and most enjoyable because she could see just how much Sadie enjoyed it too! We cannot wait to see what Sadie will do next. We are very proud of the awards Sadie won at the Sydney of City Eisteddfod in 2018 for drama and poetry performances, but most of all we are impressed by the curious, kind and unique person that Sadie is. It is a privilege to teach such a beautiful mind. Well done Sadie!