Composing and producing an original musical isn’t usually associated with formal study at secondary school.
Emma Sidnam has spent the last two years hard at work on her dream: to write, produce and musically direct Diocesan’s first student-written musical.
Now, that dream is almost a reality, with Emma’s musical, “Don’t Cut Me Down” to be performed on 25th-27th May at Dio Little Theatre.
“Don't Cut Me Down” is a Broadway-style musical which has a strong magical realism theme. It follows the story of a young nymph who moves to the human world, only to have to fight for her life as her forest is threatened by builders. The musical explores subjects close to Emma’s heart – caring for the environment, while also tackling discrimination and prejudice
Emma wrote the final draft of the musical during 2016 as part of her first year of study for the IB Diploma. Now in her second year of study, she is producing and musically directing the show by herself. Fellow Year 13 student Jodi Fordyce is helping as the director of acting.
Featuring a cast of six and an all-student crew – actors are girls from Dio and boys from Dilworth School next door – everything from casting, running rehearsals, getting the musical accompaniment, costuming and props has been down to Emma and the team’s she pulled together.
Emma says that she not only dreams of writing music for her career, but that she was inspired because, “Musicals have a very unique power to communicate and emotionally connect. I hope to use music to make difficult societal problems approachable and embolden others to spread their voices.”
She is excited to share the musical with the wider community and hopes that people will be touched by the in some way by the messages in the musical production.