HSPA extends audition deadline

Hunter School of the Performing Arts’s high school production of Matilda in 2019

Due to COVID-19 restrictions primary and high school audition applications for the Hunter School of the Performing Arts (HSPA), attended by many Central Coast students, have been extended until Sunday, August 15.

With dozens of students and hopeful auditionees affected by the recent restrictions, Principal Tracey Breese said extending the deadline was the right decision.

“With the new restrictions affecting those across the Central Coast, Greater Sydney and now some regional areas, we knew we had to extend the audition applications,” Breese said.

“We’re hoping this extension will encourage those who may be stuck in lockdown to still apply for years 3-11 in 2022.”

Since 1998 HSPA has been the only fully selective performing arts school in NSW.

The school delivers developmental programs with a gifted and talented focus on dance, drama and music.

Over 1,200 students from years 3-12 across the Hunter Region and the Central Coast currently attend the school.

This year isn’t the first time the school has faced obstacles for its auditions.

Usually held in April and August each year, the in-person auditions in 2020 were forced to be held online due to the initial COVID-19 restrictions.

Deputy Principal and head of auditions, Karen O’Neill, said the change was a huge shock to those auditioning and the teachers assessing.

“We had to prepare extremely quickly as our auditions were set to occur only a month after we went into lockdown,” she said.

“It was a big change for those auditioning and our teachers as we had to account for unexpected hurdles like poor internet connection, delayed responses and even distorted sound for our music auditions.”

Like most businesses and schools, HSPA soon got the hang of the online auditions and had a successful year of applicants.

“We had 201 students who were successful in the auditions and joined us in 2021,” O’Neill said.

“We’re hoping to grow this number for our next group of auditionees, especially now that we’re back to in-person auditions and the second round has been extended.

Media release, Jul 29
Hunter School of the Performing Arts