Eli Le Fevre is a familiar face to many at ACG Parnell College. The talented thespian played the lead in last year's musical of the Little Shop of Horrors, took centre stage in the Senior Drama Club's The Tree House production and performed with the school's jazz band at various events, including the KBB Music Festival. And in the perfect culmination to 2021, his contributions to the ACG performing arts programme were recognised at the school’s prizegiving ceremony, where he received the Services to Drama award.
In addition to his success treading the boards, the actor, singer, dancer and musician is equally active behind the scenes, writing and producing music digitally and taking on the responsibilities of lighting and sound operator for numerous live events.
In a recent interview, the multi-tasking 15-year-old shares his thoughts on the role performing plays in his life and the lessons he has learnt from his involvement in music and drama.
Eli, has performing always been a passion for you?
I was the kid who would make a drum kit out of things in the kitchen and would always be putting on shows for my parents - it's been something I've loved my whole life. So most of my time out of school is spent rehearsing or performing in some area of the arts.
What aspects do you enjoy the most?
I love performing in pretty much any form. It's what I'm passionate about, from music and drama to lighting and sound and even speechwriting. Although I'm sure there are many benefits, I do it because it's what I enjoy.
When it comes to acting, is musical theatre your main focus?
I wouldn't say it's my 'focus' as such; it just so happens that the main annual production at ACG is a musical, so that's the biggest show I'm in. However, I love acting in more traditional plays too. There are so many different aspects to learn and enjoy.
Tell us about your musical pursuits.
I mainly play the drums, am in two school jazz bands and an out-of-school band that made it to the 2021 Rockquest regional finals. I also sing, mainly just in productions and the school choir. As well as that, I write and produce music digitally and record/mix bands in a program called Ableton.
What have been your greatest highlights for ACG Parnell College so far?
Being the lead in the 2021 school production was definitely one of them! In addition to enjoying an amazing week of performances, I learnt so much as a performer. And I had so much fun with the cast at rehearsals. I was also the lighting designer/programmer/operator for the AS-Level Drama show. It was the first time I'd done such a big Senior School show solo, and it was a fantastic learning experience. I found it incredibly rewarding to see all the work unfold on the night.
Are you involved in any other extracurricular activities?
I am the main (currently only!) sound and lighting technician for the Senior School theatre, and I help with the Middle School. I don't do much drama out of school, but I am involved in a lot of music and backstage work.
How challenging is it to juggle your performance commitments with the time needed for study?
Shows take up a lot of my time, and around exams, I have to do less so I can study more. Luckily, school shows are not generally planned during exam periods, and when taking music and drama as a subject, it is inherently part of the class!
What are your career aspirations?
Currently, I want to go into audio engineering and lighting design for live and recorded theatre and music. I'm getting involved with local production companies and learning everything I can!
Do you feel it's important for students to be involved in drama and music?
Definitely, whether or not you take it particularly seriously as a passion or career, the skills and confidence that come from the performing arts are important and helpful in all reaches of life. Or you can just do it to have fun!
What suggestions do you have for students who may not be the most talented actors or singers but are still looking to be involved in shows and productions?
Sign up! A huge part of being involved in school productions is about learning and developing your skills in a supportive and inclusive environment. So no matter your skill level, if you're enthusiastic, we will always welcome you!
What five words would your friends and family use to describe you?
Hmmm, that's a difficult one! Creative, busy, dramatic, fun and reliable.