Drama 50 Years in the Spotlight

This year marks 50 years since the inception of the Theatre Arts program at Santa Maria College. Sister Consilii and Sister Sheila Sawle showed great foresight in the establishment of the curriculum area and the employment of Hal Davies as the first custodian of their vision.

Mr Davies fostered the development of Drama at Santa Maria from 1971 until 2004. In that time, he inspired countless students to pursue their interest in the creation and performance of drama. Many went on to careers in theatre, film, and television, or to teach Drama themselves.

One of these students was Libby Covich (1987). Libby went on to be a member of the Drama Department at Santa Maria herself. She says, “I know I am not alone in saying “Hal has been one of my greatest inspirations and the reason I am still so passionate about performance, and teaching Arts in education.” 

Over the past 50 years, dozens of passionate educators have shared their spirit and expertise with our students. They have created a safe space for personal expression, brought more than 60 productions to life and challenged young women artistically, academically, and emotionally.

The history of the College’s Drama productions in the era of the current theatre was on show earlier this year when the Old Girls’ Association hosted an exhibition titled, Encore 35. Those who attended attested to the power Drama had on their experience of high school, their formation, and the years beyond school.

Looking forward, the College is excited by the prospect of a new cultural centre which will include a new theatre and workspaces. The plan is to break ground in 2022. It seems the legacy of the Mercy Sisters, and their commitment to Drama shines brightly into the future.

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