The Launceston Grammar Performing Arts community are thriving on the stage both at school and beyond in 2023. Our students, alumni and teaching team have been inspiring the current students and showing them that the sky is the limit when it comes to performance, dance and drama. On the 4th of March 2023, several people from the Launceston Grammar community were recognised with various nominations and wins including students Hannah Badcock, Edie Burns, Lola Eastaugh, Taylah Goss, Lydia Hayes, William Hill, Grace Robertson, Millie Snell, Hannah Woollams, teacher Joel King, alumna Jacquelyne France-Marsden and CATS Director Ross Marsden.
Before Term 1 had even begun, 30 students with a starring role in CATS, The Musical were deep in rehearsals at CATS Camp. Alumna Jacquelyne France-Marsden (2004) is a choreographer who put the students through their paces. Jacquelyne is a fully qualified Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher at Ballet and Dance Arts Tasmania. She holds her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and completed her Advanced 2 examination with Distinction in 2006 and is also a graduate of the University of Tasmania. She is also actively involved in the local musical theatre scene where she has choreographed six Encore Theatre Company productions which include, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Wicked, Les Miserables, Chicago and Jersey Boys. Her choreography in Les Miserables earned her a Tasmanian Theatre Award for Best Choreography in 2019.
The show’s director, and Jacquelyne’s husband, Ross Marsden said “It has been great for the students to be reunited with their feline castmates and immerse themselves in a world of new choreography and singing”. Book your tickets here for their performance at the Princess Theatre in May.
The Launceston Grammar Walkathon enters its 60th year and Grade 12 students Sahara Rumble and Sophie Lamb worked together with their teachers and Grade 12 cohort to put on a fundraising show like no other. Kartik played during the lunch break, getting staff and students dancing whilst they raised $1,200 for You Can Stay. The 2023 Walkathon charity is raising funds for children affected by cancer in rural communities that have to travel for treatment. Kartik was supported on drums by his sister Kirthana (2014) and by very proud parents including Mrs Kunasegaran our International Student Coordinator and Business Teacher.
Our alumni have been very busy indeed. On the same day that Australian Idol hopeful, Kartik Kuna (2012) performed in the quad at lunchtime, another alumna, Indira Naidoo announced that she is the new presenter of ABC’s Compass programme. The new series began on Sunday, 19 March, at 6.30 pm on ABC TV and ABC iview. Indira is a fabulous role model to our students and has taken time over the years to inspire them and nurture their talents. We wish her the very best in her new role.
Current Grade 8 & 9 students have also benefited from the long-running workshop partnership with the inspiring Cirque du Soleil Clint Bolster organised by our incredible teaching team. Meet the highly skilled teaching team who work hard to inspire our students and develop the skills that will take them on to adulthood and future careers.
Ingrid Reynolds-Larsen – Dance and Movement Teacher
Hi, I’m Ingrid, I am originally from Tasmania, and I have a contemporary dance background, cutting my teeth dancing for Jerril Rechter (Stompin founder). After Grade 12, I moved across the Strait to study for a Bachelor of Creative Arts at Melbourne University. I felt like a little fish in a big pond surrounded by 40,000 students at the time; I found the University quite daunting and felt like a real country kid! So upon graduating, I promptly moved overseas for my twenties, mostly working as a yoga teacher, a one-way ticket to explore the world. My time spent in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Germany and California became firm highlights. Fast forward to 2016, returning to Lutruwita and completing a Master of Teaching at UTAS.
I have been fortunate to work in a range of roles within the Arts which include festivals such as Streets Alive, Color the Noise, Remade, Junction Arts Festival, Mona Foma and costume stylist for Stompin, Nowhere & Mirror Mirror. Tas Dance stylist for YATRA and Reactor and set producer for Mudlark’s It Happened One Day. My personal Arts practice encompasses text, painting, movement, and poetry and some of my treasured mentors include Frank Van de Ven (Dutch choreographer and Bodyweather practitioner). This photograph is from circa 2008 (Melbourne). I am performing the work ‘Data landscape’ by architects, James Carey & Campbell Drake for their installation in Penthouse Mouse as part of the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Joel King – Drama Teacher
Joel completed his Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with UTAS in 2020, majoring in and training in theatre. He then completed his Master of Teaching (Double Drama) with Deakin University in 2022, specialising in Inclusive Education.
He has been performing in various Tasmanian theatre productions throughout the years, recently In Encore’s Chicago as Amos and Hipockets in Devonport Choral Society’s BUDDY: The Buddy Holly Story. He has also played roles such as Willard in Footloose, The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Danny in Grease, Donkey in Shrek Jr, Judas in Godspell and the list goes on.
Joel has been recognised several times at the Tasmanian Theatre Awards, with one win for an Excellent Performance in 2015, and three times nominated for Best Supporting Male in 2018, 2022 and 2023. Joel also has had extensive experience with singing, being a member of the Crescendo Choir for 8 years, which saw him sing with Missy Higgins in 2014, and other performances across the country in Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart. Recently he also performed at the 2022 Launceston Carols by Candlelight.
Joel is currently a member of the Launceston Musical Society committee and plans to continue to work in the theatre/drama scene.
Louise Peters – Head of Drama
Louise graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Education (English, Speech & Drama) and has taught ever since, beginning at LCGS in 1995. At Grammar, also she directed the annual school musical for 11 years with productions including The Wizard of Oz, Happy Days, Beauty and the Beast and Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Her stage performance work began at school, playing in many musicals including Half a Sixpence and Gilbert and Sullivan productions. During her university years, she founded a small company, Playpen Theatre, directing performances for local primary schools.
Louise has been in many productions with Launceston Players, Stage Right (UTAS), Launceston Repertory Society and most recently, Encore Theatre Company with appearances as Nursie in Black Adder and Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music.
A career highlight was definitely being a member of the Royal Oak Players. Louise, alongside local actors and playwrights, Marcus Bower, Jeff Hayes, Stuart Loone and Jane Johnston, wrote and performed for 30 years their annual Christmas Revue. The satirical sketches, based on local, national and global political personalities always played to a season of sold-out performances, audience members including the politicians being satirised!
Louise has worked as an adjudicator for Drama Festivals, Drama moderator for North/NW Tasmania and since 1996 has been a TASC examiner and panel chair.
Currently Vice-President of the Launceston Competitions and convenor for the Drama sub-committee, Louise is dedicated to providing young people with the opportunity to perform in the magnificent Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre.