Drama students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College are benefitting from private mentoring with Mark Hill, one of Australia’s top physical theatre artists, directors and teachers, who is artist-in-residence at the College for a three-week period.
Mark’s teaching and directing experience includes roles at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia (NIDA) and International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA).
He is a regular mentor at the College, having visited multiple times over the past 15 years.
Flinders’ Head of Drama, Ms Melissa White said students were excited to be taught by an artist of Mark’s reputation and passion.
“Mark has been guiding our Year 12 students through their Greek and Physical Theatre Unit where they need to retell the classic Greek Tragedy of ‘Medea’ in new and exciting ways, relevant for a contemporary audience,” Mel said.
“He is also inspiring and challenging our Year 10 students as they use physical theatre to explore Australian Gothic Theatre," she said.
“Mark is a positive role model for students at Flinders as he also works on community projects across the globe, demonstrating leadership and citizenship as he contributes to making the world a better place.”
Mark described the Drama curriculum at Flinders as “contemporary, diverse, fun and challenging”.
“I have been visiting Flinders since 2005 to work with Drama students and teachers to support their learning of contemporary knowledge and skills from around the world,” Mark said.
“Students are receiving a holistic education at Flinders that will help to make them highly skilled, sought-after young actors,” he said.
“They are fortunate to have teachers who are highly experienced, hardworking and very well respected in the community, and access to top facilities such as the Performance Centre that are of industry standard.
“It's also great to see students learning vital transferable skills such as effective teamwork, public speaking and the ability to debate relevant social issues.”
Mark’s performance experience includes work with lauded cutting-edge Australian physical theatre companies Zen Zen Zo, The Danger Ensemble and De Quincey Co, and with international companies Dairakudakan (Japan) and SU-EN Butoh Company (Sweden).
He has also applied his skills to the music industry, touring as a physical performer for many years with Cabaret Punk musician, Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls.
Mark has trained and performed in a variety of respected world traditions for the past 15 years, including Butoh, The Suzuki Method of Actor Training, The Viewpoints, Noh and Kecak.
His community projects include making digital eBooks of indigenous creation stories with primary school students around Australia; working with children with HIV in Manila's notorious slum, 'Smokey Mountain'; and working with refugees in Africa displaced by war.
Flinders’ Drama subjects are offered as electives to students across Years 7 to 12.
The College’s theatre co-curricular offerings include a Secondary School musical production, a Middle School Musical, and a Year 6 Musical as well as regular theatre pieces.
Main Image Caption: Mark Hill (far left and below) with Ms Mel White (far right) and Year 12 Drama students at Flinders.