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Teens’ theatre debut ‘success’

BREAK A LEG: Sophie Newton, Eli Bunyong and Tiana Collins don't let nerves stop them as they take to the stage for the first time.
BREAK A LEG: Sophie Newton, Eli Bunyong and Tiana Collins don't let nerves stop them as they take to the stage for the first time. Tessa Mapstone

ELI Bunyoung always wanted to be an actor so when there was too little interest for his year in school to have a drama class he found a way to pursue his passion.

He got in touch with the Nanango Theatre Company and began by helping behind the scenes before making his stage debut on Friday night in the one-act play The Package.

Mr Bunyoung said his co-stars, Sophie Newton and Tiana Collins, were calm on opening night, but he struggled with his nerves.

"I was freaking out a bit," he said.

"I do get the shakes and I could feel my heart thumping.

"I was talking really fast at the start so I had to slow down."

Despite the nerves and a few missed lines, the cast agreed the performance was a success and that each of the remaining three performances would build on their confidence and skill.

The Year 10 students were given plenty of guidance from director and school teacher Katie Campbell since rehearsals started in September.

Mr Bunyoung said it had given him a strong grounding in the theatre basics.

"I remember one of the first things I did wrong was having my feet facing the wrong way," he said.

"My feet have to be facing the direction of the audience so I'm not facing the back.

For Tiana Collins, studying drama at school meant she could slot into her role less than two weeks ago.

"I only really had a week and a half to learn my lines, but I have the least lines, luckily," she said.

But all three young actors agree their future lies in film and television, preferring the idea of having a second take if things go wrong.

"People grow up wanting to be superheroes (then one day) think 'oh, I'm going to be an engineer," Mr Bunyoung said.

"Me, I still want to be a superhero, so that is the goal."

South Burnett

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