‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!’

This message from the famous Aesop fable The Crow and the Pitcher is a salient reminder to us all that no matter what life throws at us we must always pick ourselves up and try again. This was very much the case for the cast of JS Presents… An Aesop Adventure. All boys from Pre-Prep to Year 5 were to present this dramatic performance in the final week of Term 2, 2020. Each class’ fable had been allocated, the technical team had begun to prepare ideas for costumes, props and set design, auditions had taken place and then… the Covid-19 Virus put a halt to any further preparations.

At the beginning of 2021 we picked ourselves up and tried again! Despite the uncertainty of preparing a performance during a global pandemic, the Junior School boys worked diligently during their Term 2 classroom music lessons to develop their dramatic expression and musical performance to portray one of eight famous Aesop fables. 

With only four weeks until production, Victoria was once again put into lockdown and all production rehearsals had to occur via Zoom, with the boys singing, dancing and acting in the comfort of their homes. When we returned in Week 9 it was all systems go, with the boys learning quickly how to use the space of the stage in the Performing Arts Centre and how to incorporate the props, backdrops, sound and lighting effects into their developing stagecraft skills. 

As the date for the ‘one night only’ performance approached, it was announced that due to capacity numbers, the cast was unable to perform to a live audience of family members. Thanks to the technical expertise of the CGS Audio Visual Department, the final dress rehearsal was filmed on Thursday 24 June and released as a streamed evening performance for families to watch together at home. While the boys missed the thrill of a live evening performance, they were still absolutely thrilled to perform to an audience of students in their magnificent, colourful costumes. 

An Aesop Adventure is a musical journey, telling simple stories that use animals as well as humans to present powerful and memorable messages about life. Many of the morals shared in these stories have become words we use as advice to our children. As simple as they are, following their guidance prepares us all for many of life’s challenges. Each class dramatically presented a different fable that shared a moral to live by in life, complete with a song and dance. 

The Pre-Preps opened the show with an informative musical introduction to the fables, followed by the colourful and delightful tales of The Farmer and the Stork (4B), The Fox and the Grapes (Year 1), The Boy Who Cried Wolf (4A), The Lion and the Mouse (Year 3), The Hare and the Tortoise (5A), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Year 2), The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (5B) and The Crow and the Pitcher (Prep). Narrated emphatically by four narrators and with additional commentary and jokes from two audience members, Frank and Elvis, the show came together at the Finale with the whole chorus singing a resounding version of the opening song, An Aesop Adventure.

‘Junior School Presents’ is an important part of the whole school Drama program. For many students, this first venture onto the stage is the beginning of a life-long interest in theatre and performing arts. I wish to thank the wonderful Junior School staff for all their hard work and patience in Term 2 as we worked against the odds to produce this production, to the adaptive, creative and dynamic technical team who worked behind the scenes to bring this show to life and to the cast of over 200 boys who delivered an admirable performance. As they say in the theatre, ‘the show must go on!’ and with credit to everyone involved, it did!

Mrs Trista Fry
Music Teacher Pre-Prep - Year 2