Schools Spectacular

Mary Lopez created the concept of the Schools Spectacular in 1984 and directed the annual production for 25 years until she retired from the Directors position in 2008. Mary continues to be involved with the production as a consultant and takes on the role of Artistic Director in addition to the role of Emeritus Director to which she was appointed in 2010.

The Spectacular showcases the finest talent in the New South Wales Public School system in a two-and-a-half hour themed variety spectacular, staged at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (formally Sydney Entertainment Centre). Over the years, the School Spectacular has proven itself to be more than just a showcase that highlights the talents of the students. It is an iconic cultural event incorporating students from diverse backgrounds and communities from all over NSW. The Schools Spectacular is a world-class arena production and one of the largest annual events of its calibre anywhere in Australia – and arguably the world. Under Mary’s guidance the Schools Spectacular has produced national and international stars whilst promoting inclusiveness and reconciliation.

Featuring 3000 performers, including a 80-piece symphony orchestra, dancers, bands, soloists and a 1000-voice choir, the show is broadcast nationally on Channel 9. Since 2001, Mary and her team have worked closely with the production team to create a major television spectacular that consistently receives top ratings across Australia.

For more information on this event please visit Out There Productions or the NSW Department of Education & Training’s Schools Spectacular .

  • Dawn Fraser AO

    "Mary's given more young Australian performers a chance to shine than any other Australian I know"

  • Paula Duncan

    “I consider Mary Lopez one of the true talent discoverers. She has found and established some of the great talents of Australia, including Human Nature"

  • ALAN JONES AO

    "Mary Lopez is a wonderful Australian and a generous giver"
  • John Williamson, Country Singer

    "Mary loves Australia and this love shines through in everything she does"

  • Father Chris Riley

    "In the words of Batchelor Girl – Mary encourages and gives our kids ‘permission to shine’"

  • Human Nature

    “Mary believed in us … she nurtured us, developed our talent. She’s always there for us and we’ll always be there for her.”

  • Contact Details

    Mary Lopez AM

    Entertainment and Talent Director
    TDP Artistic Director and CEO
    Emeritus Director Schools Spectacular

    p: +61 (0)2 9954 5540

  • 2010 TDP GRADUATES

  • TDP GRADUATE & MUSICAL DIRECTOR, JOHN FOREMAN

    "Mary Lopez is one of the most professional, dynamic, dedicated and enthusiastic people I have ever met"
  • Bound For Broadway Documentary

  • 2011 TDP Graduation Screening on Aurora TV

    2011 Talent Development Project Graduation Spectacular

    Premiere Screening 6pm on September 24th

    Aurora TV, Channel 183 on Foxtel and Austar

    Aurora TV is the proud Broadcast Partner of the TDP