Tawa light up stage for maiden win
The Tawa College dressing room was full of screams and excited teens when it was announced it had won Stage Challenge for the first time.
Earlier this month at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, 14 school teams from across the region put their best acting and dancing feet forward for the annual competition.
Tawa College had a controversial theory of evolution theme and won the day for their slick performance, fantastic costumes and set design, and the way in which they conveyed their message about where the human race was heading – on a steep downward trajectory.
Directors Erin Lockhart and Hanne De Ridder, both year 13 students, said the win was exhilarating.
From fundraising to makeup, direction to dancing – the maiden Stage Challenge victory was a total team effort.
‘‘Everyone involved, even the people who came in at the end to do makeup, put everything they had into that eight-minute performance,’’ Lockhart said.
‘‘I was too speechless to say anything [after being awarded first place], but I do remember a lot of others screaming and jumping around.’’
De Ridder said the organising committee began preparations in November and this school year had spent every Sunday morning teasing out the show.
More than 100 people were involved, mostly students, and on June 3, 69 performers and 12 backstage crew made it a seamless affair. Their performance was a departure from previous years, with an emotional rather than happy ending.
The music – including house and funk – was also not the usual conservative Tawa College style, Lockhart said.
‘‘The dancing and singing is only a third of the points you earn so we wanted the costumes and the message to really come through strongly.
‘‘We had a story that we genuinely believed in about human evolution.’’
De Ridder said one positive offshoot from the preparation was students from different years came together for a common cause. ‘‘It was student-led, on a low budget that we fundraised ourselves, and you were connecting with other members of the college that you’d never normally talk to.’’
Standing, from left, Jaimie Howe, Brenna MacEwan, Claire Murray and Emma Parkinson and lying down, from left is Victoria Melhop, Amali Wijesooriya and Daniel Hughs during Tawa College’s Stage Challenge performance.