Tawa light up stage for maiden win

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.’’

PHOTO: PETER MCDON­ALD

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.

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