Northland Youth Theatre's Summer Show takes you through city

By Sophie Ryan

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Director Laurel Devenie is co-ordinating long rehearsals to ensure Northland Youth Theatre's summer show is ready for opening night on January 25. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Director Laurel Devenie is co-ordinating long rehearsals to ensure Northland Youth Theatre's summer show is ready for opening night on January 25. Photo/Michael Cunningham

A summer spectacle celebrating the history and future of Whangarei will fill the Pohe Island old recycling centre for Northland Youth Theatre's highly anticipated Summer Show 2014.

Featuring 26 actors, the mediaeval story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, will be integrated with a story about their community, called Empty City.

The young theatre troupe has been walking Whangarei's streets, talking to grandparents and studying in the library to explore the history of their town and think about what it could be like in the future.

The result is a reimagined tale of the Pied Piper set in their hometown.

Empty City, directed by Laurel Devenie and Katy Maudlin, will breathe life into the old recycling centre on Pohe Island.

"The story will lead you through your own streets, as they are now and as they have been, and weave a tale of a city that has broken a promise," says Ms Maudlin.

"There will be singing, swinging, sketching, playing and scribbling, a city swarming with rats and a stranger who comes to town."

Before the production can be put on stage NYT is trying to raise money to pay for props, costumes and a set to fill the old building.

NYT has opened a Pledge Me campaign with a video that shows what the theatre company will create with the show.

Artistic director Peter Larsen says the company gets a lot of support from Creative NZ and the community in Northland but is always looking for ways to finance large shows.

"The productions created over the summer holidays with hundreds of teenagers over the years has been an integral part of NYT's strength. We are delighted that this tradition is rebuilding and has found so much support from the community and Creative New Zealand," he says.

On the web page, people can donate as little or as much as they wish. However, the campaign must reach its estimated target before January 21 for the money to be donated. If they don't reach the target, the money goes back to the donors.

See the video on www.pledgeme.com/projects/1703 and to pledge.

Empty City at Pohe Island Recycling Centre, January 25 to February 5 at 8.30pm. No shows on Mondays. Tickets from eventfinder.co.nz are $12 for students and $17 for adults.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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