The 59th Tauranga Festival of Performing Arts came to a close yesterday, with Tauranga locals under 18 showing their theatre, acting, dance and music skills.

The event, which started on July 8, was held at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre.

Dancer Lulu Moore, 8, was performing a new dance she had been practising for about a month.

"I'm probably most excited about the acting," she said.

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Her mother Kat Moore said Lulu would be doing a ballet piece resembling a witch character.

Eva Jeffries performs in the finals of the Tauranga Performing Arts Festival. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
Eva Jeffries performs in the finals of the Tauranga Performing Arts Festival. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

Performers Deborah Taylor, 15, of Otumoetai College, Zoe Kirtley, 18, of Aquinas College and Michael Stewart, 17 of Tauranga Boys' College, were all participants in the festival.

Ms Kirtley had been performing in the festival since she was 10-years-old, and Michael since he was 8.

"It's weird, we're now the older ones I've always looked up to," he said.

Michael had performed as Padraic from The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin
McDonagh.

Ms Kirley was the recipient of the Federation of LYCEUM Club's major award, for her performance as Antigone from Antigone by Jean Anouilh.

"It's from Greek mythology about the detrimental effects of power structures.

"It's a perfect night to end on," she said.

Deborah came first in the over 12 restricted section for her performance of the poem Adolescence, by Patricia Bradley.

"It's about a teenager trying to convince, maybe society, that under 18s have been pushed aside. It's trying to get the point across they're not a child, and they deserve to be treated as adults.

"I walk on stage and stand there, because in poetry it's the subtle movements, and try to connect with the audience."

She said performing at the festival was "an awesome opportunity".

Tauranga Performing Arts Competitions Society president Cathy Gifford said people enjoyed coming see the festival at Baycourt.

"They all love it, all the local kids. It is for the locals and gives them another chance to perform," she said.

"It's been wonderful and great."

The committee would start planning the event next year, which would be the 60th anniversary of the festival.