Published on July 3, 2024

Flynn, a Year 10 student who has a passion for creating backstage magic and coordinating amongst the chaos, takes us behind the scenes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and tells us the work that has gone into the mammoth production.


Tell us about your role as the Backstage Coordinator for Charlie and The Chocolate Factory? What are your main responsibilities?

As the Backstage Coordinator, I juggle a variety of responsibilities to ensure everything runs smoothly. I spend most of my time working with our Director, Jennie Rohr, and the backstage team leaders to make sure every backstage team has what they need to succeed. This involves attending rehearsals, backstage meetings, and speaking to HVGS staff/students involved in different aspects of the production. One day I might be sourcing costumes, and the next, organizing a promotional event with the library technicians.


How did you get involved in backstage work and what drew you to this side of theatre?

I’ve always been passionate about drama, taking acting classes since kindergarten. My journey in school productions began in Year 4, and over the years I’ve acted in various shows. It was during these productions that I noticed the effort behind the scenes. As an actor I participated in many different backstage activities, learning the ropes and falling in love with the process. 2023 brought the arrival of the new Head of Drama, Ms. Rohr, who has taught me so much taking me to my current role.


What’s your favourite part about working on HVGS productions?

My favourite part about working on a HVGS production, would be using it as a creative outlet, I love working in all of the teams, making props, putting together costumes, and producing and editing fun and entertaining videos.


How has HVGS supported you in your role?

HVGS has been incredibly supportive. Ms. Rohr has been a fantastic mentor, teaching me the intricacies of putting together a production. We have so many people in our School community who love being involved in helping the production, all of which have helped me reach new heights.


 As well as a short series ‘The Real Show’, you’re working on a video documenting the behind-the-scenes process. What inspired you to start this project, and what do you hope to achieve with it?

The Real Show is great at getting a very small glimpse into the school atmosphere pre-show and getting everyone excited for the production but, in our separate short documentary, we have filmed the whole process since the musical was announced last year. We have captured EVERYTHING, the ups the downs the challenges and the wins of putting together a musical. This short documentary is currently in the editing process, and we will launch and do a screening later in the year for all members of this year’s production. The documentary captures all of the bits we can’t release until after the production is shown as well as has an in-depth look at all the aspects of making a musical. I hope, along with the team that has worked on this documentary with me, that it captures the memories of this musical as well as gives an insight into what production life is really like for anyone interested.


Marketing is a crucial part of any production. What strategies did you use in promoting Charlie and The Chocolate Factory?

This year’s marketing has been a blast with our nine-person student promotion team. We brainstormed and refined ideas to align with the musical’s brand and HVGS’s ethos. We created a three-part short series, collaborated with the library on a Roald Dahl book display, and involved Year 7 English teachers with golden ticket rewards. Partnered with Treetops Restaurant for a themed dessert pizza, and we used QR-coded posters for modernized classic advertisements. All with the goal of getting our whole School community involved to celebrate the hard work and talent of HVGS. Our School’s marketing team also provided so much advice and support.


What skills have you developed through your role as Backstage Co-ordinator that you believe will benefit you in the future?

Over the last two productions, I’ve gained a wealth of experience. My role has sharpened my communication skills, making them more efficient and professional. Working with a diverse group of people has taught me the art of collaboration and the importance of understanding different perspectives. These evolving skills are so valuable and will definitely benefit me in the future in life and in my career.


How do you balance your responsibilities as a student, drama participant, backstage coordinator, and marketer?

I would put it down to time management and organisation. I love a ‘to-do list’ to help me stay track of everything on my plate. I think good communication with people around me is also something that helps. Although thinking ahead and prioritising the important tasks first, which can be difficult at times but that is how I get through busy times.


What advice would you give to other students who are interested in getting involved in backstage work in HVGS productions?

I would say do it! You 100% get out what you put in. Whether you’re in the cast or crew, being very proactive, switched on and passionate will get you a long way! You will meet so many new people and you’ll always be learning something new. Keep an eye out for when the short documentary comes out!


You can watch Flynn’s behind-the-scenes videos here!