Western Australian Museum - Maritime provides a ‘stage’ for Notre Dame theatre students

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 28-10-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



The 25th Anniversary of Australia’s America’s Cup victory and the historic voyages of two brave women provided the stories for Arts students in their second semester unit, Devised Production Workshop.

As part of the unit, students were required to write and produce ensemble pieces, giving them the opportunity to perform the important roles required for a successful production.

They chose to base their first play on the 1983 America’s Cup victory performing in front of the winning yacht, Australia ll, at the Museum’s Open Day event on 28 September, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the win. The second production took place at the Museum on October 24, based on the Museum’s new exhibition, Journeys of Enlightenment.

“Working on the Australia ll project enabled the Theatre Studies students to research and gain an excellent understanding of such an important part of West Australia’s history,” said Mrs Janny O’Connell, Theatre Studies Coordinator.

“Getting to perform in front of the famous yacht for a wide ranging audience was not only a memorable experience for the students but taught them the important skills of utilizing different spaces and writing and performing for an audience.

“The second piece was based on two women sailors, Jeanne Barèt and Rose de Freycinet, who dressed as men to take part in voyages that circumnavigated the world.

“Their stories were very diverse and made for great theatre. The research required for this production was quite demanding as the students had to be very accurate with their script and costumes. It provided a very important challenge for them,” said Mrs O’Connell.

“Ms Lisa Williams, Manager of the Fremantle Sites of the West Australian Museum and Ms Felena Alach, Public Programs Officer, were both extremely positive and supportive of the collaboration for this project and were very happy to have our students involved with the exhibitions.

“Linking up with the WA Museum - Maritime has been an excellent experience for the students and it is a liaison that I hope will continue in the future, as it is certainly beneficial for both parties,” said Mrs O’Connell.

Acting CEO of the Western Australian Museum, Ms Diana Jones, said, “All of the WA Museum’s sites are involved in community collaborations, which enhances both the work done by museum staff and the visitor experience. Theatrical performances are an engaging and dynamic way of interpreting stories associated with the museums’ collections and exhibitions.

"Both of the Notre Dame student productions added another dimension to the stories told in the displays and exhibitions, bringing particular aspects of their history to life. We look forward to working with the University again in the future.”

Media contact:

Rebecca Cassidy 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138