All of Life Is a Stage! Acting at AIS

By: City Pass Guide

When Jacqui Gaynor, a woman of energetic vitality with a permanent twinkle in her eye, walked into the principal’s office at the Australian International School (AIS) seven years ago for a job interview, she knew right away she was the woman for the Music Teacher position.

It all happened on a whim: on a vacation with her family in Thailand, she came across the posting and decided to fly to Ho Chi Minh City for a weekend to see what they needed. The principal needed someone to head up their music program and direct stage shows, and that’s when the lightbulb turned on.

A Musical Love Affair

A professional performer from the age of 17, Jacqui toured the world as a professional singer and pianist for nine years. In 1991 she chose a career change and settled into family life and music teaching on Australia’s Gold Coast.

For 20 years, as well as teaching primary and high school music, Jacqui trained and accompanied choirs and was musical director for several school and community shows including Beauty and the Beast, Oliver and Jekyll and Hyde.

So when she was offered the post at AIS, the choice was clear: she took it and hasn’t looked back since.

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The Classics, With a Modern Twist

AIS started their musical theatre tradition with an adapted version of Alice in Wonderland in 2014 that included modern songs from Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz and Pharrell Williams to make it relevant and appealing to all the kids involved.

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“I love empowering young people through the performing arts and bringing out their self-confidence, self-expression and creativity.”

Spotlighting a student’s particular abilities is the hallmark of a good show. Instead of fitting the student to the role, Jacqui adapts the role to the student's strengths.

Image source: facebook.com/AustralianInternationalSchoolVietnam

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