Schools combine to meet Stage Challenge

Melville Intermediate and High School will join forces to battle 12 of the region's secondary schools for top honours at the ASB 2013 Stage Challenge and J Rock.

Celebrating the competition's 21st, hundreds of young performers, production and backstage crew will take to the stage at Claudelands Event Centre on Tuesday, June 25.

Melville is exploring humans' impact on planet Earth through the age-old Maori creation myth of Ranginui and Papatuanuku.

Dubbed Reap What You Sow, sound director Nic Martin, 17, says the modern take on the well-known tale will be a visually powerful production with a strong message.

"The storyline has been great inspiration for the choreography and music."

Although only on the stage for eight minutes, Melville students will have put in countless hours of rehearsal time towards their final production.

"All the hours we put in is hard work and the first-timers will only realise how really rewarding and worthwhile all the effort is on the night of the competition," Nic says.

Melville has entered stage challenge every year for the last six years under the watchful eye of head of drama Kathleen Christian.

Kathleen says combining the two schools is a great opportunity to nurture relationships between the institutions.

"School used to be the centre of the community and this project really focuses on building relationships in our community and fostering a sense of belonging, as well as creating a magnificent production we can all be proud of."

About 70 students aged from 10-18 will experience the bright lights of the big stage, many for the first time. The students are involved in all aspects of the production, including sewing costumes, building and decorating the set, choreography, sound and lighting and costume design.

Stage Challenge is about experiencing the natural high of being part of a team in a 100 per cent tobacco, drug and alcohol-free environment.

- Hamilton News

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