Stage Chal­lenge time once more

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The ASB Stage Chal­lenge will this year be mark­ing its 21st birth­day as New Zealand’s largest and long­est run­ning youth per­form­ing arts event.

The event starts, along with J Rock, in Dunedin and fin­ishes in Auck­land in early July.

It is part of a na­tion­wide tour in­volv­ing 16,000 par­tic­i­pants from 200 schools.

Event man­ager Sarah-Jane Phillips be­lieves the best part about the event is that it gives stu­dents the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the nat­u­ral high that comes from per­form­ing on stage in front of thou­sands of peo­ple.

‘‘Stage Chal­lenge gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to make pos­i­tive de­ci­sions in sev­eral ar­eas of their lives and al­lows them to have fun with their friends while do­ing so.’’

The event helps pro­motes key mes­sages such as at­tend­ing school reg­u­larly, goal set­ting, stay­ing fit and healthy, and hav­ing fun with­out to­bacco, al­co­hol or other drugs.

It can also pro­vide scope for teach­ers to use ma­te­ri­als in dance, drama or wood­work.

The com­pe­ti­tion is judged on two di­vi­sions: the RAW divi­sion and open divi­sion.

The RAW divi­sion pro­vides a way for schools to ‘‘ease into’’ the stage chal­lenge. This cat­e­gory ex­cludes the use of sets and in­stead fo­cuses on the dance and drama as­pects of the per­for­mance.

Stage Chal­lenge pro­ducer He­len Sjo­quist is de­lighted with howthe way the event has grown over the past 21 years.

‘‘More than 250,000 stu­dents have been part of the event and I am proud to wit­ness and hear about their ac­com­plish­ments both at school and in their fu­ture careers.’’

The top schools from 2012 that will also be com­pet­ing in 2013 are: Avon­dale Col­lege, Ep­som Girls’ Gram­mar School, (1st place open divi­sion); Mt Man­ganui Col­lege, St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege (2nd place open divi­sion), Marist, North­cote Col­lege (3rd place open divi­sion). RAW divi­sion place-get­ters Ma­cleans Col­lege (2nd place) and Ran­gi­toto Col­lege (3rd place) will also be com­pet­ing again.

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