THERE is a solemn sense of responsibility in taking on The Final Hours lead roles for Sebastian Rizzo and Tasya Dalem.
The dramatic re-telling of Jesus' crucifixion and the hours leading up to this pivotal moment is also steeped in Damascus College history.
This is a performance they say students aspire to be involved in and, evident in the fast sell-out for three shows, is an event past students feel drawn to return to.
"It is a huge responsibility and not just in my character," said Sebastian, who plays Jesus. "Younger cast members are looking up to you as a leader.
This is not like a show you do which is awesome and they you do it over again. This show has a whole history that goes back and has evolved.Sebastian Ross, who plays Jesus in Damascus College's Final Hours
Final Hours started on a small wooden platform with a group of senior drama students at the then-St Martins in the Pines. The biennial production is now known for moving about the school grounds with the Damascus school grounds' natural beauty and architecture a key feature.
Sebastian is a Damascus drama student but, following in the performance tradition, Tasya is not.
"I'm in year 12 and wanted to give it a go, to give everything that I could in high school a go," Tasya said. "I'm learning from the younger students and every Mary that has gone before - every Mary has a way they say the line."
Damascus performing arts coordinator Andrew Seeary said students like Tasya as Mary could emote as well as drama students because they were committed to their roles in such an important story.
More than 40 students from years eight to 12, and a few past students, were involved in acting for this year's performance.
Final Hours will play out on Tuesday to Friday nights this week with a special late start on Thursday to avoid clashing with Maundy Thursday evening church services.
Mr Seeary said the moon at Easter tended to add to the surreal-like atmosphere when the performance moved out under the night sky.
Final Hours moves across the campus to 15 stops before finishing with Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the school's theatre.
The same music is played and same words spoken as each performance before but Mr Seeary said there was always a special element to each time the story of Jesus' final hours played out.
"The production is the proclamation of our identity as a Catholic school by the dramatic retelling of one of the Gospel's central stories and at the same time actively serving our College motto to 'Live by the light of Christ'," Mr Seeary said.
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