Bream Bay College students put on a dramatic show to win the Northland heat of Stage Challenge, beating off strong performances from five other schools, including defending champions Dargaville High.
Hundreds who attended the challenge at Whangarei's Forum North on Friday saw Bream Bay take out the first place with its performance Til It Happens to You.
It was a performance that confronted some hard subjects - rape, four letters that shock society to silence.
The performance unveiled that all survivors of rape have a story to tell, yet society still wears a mask of ignorance.
The message was clear, 'survivors deserve to be heard, to stop feeling ashamed and instead feel empowered, knowing that, society will remove their masks and believe them'.
"Bream Bay College put on a brilliant performance tonight addressing a good theme.
It was really enjoyable to watch," event manager Hazel Reid said after the contest finished.
Performance judge Holly Duder-Joy was more succinct: "Wow. Bream Bay College, what a dramatic storyline - you really drew me in from start to finish. A gripping piece, very well done."
A close second place was Whangarei Girls' High School with A Decision of Difference. In third was Whangarei Boys' High School's 50 Years of Music.
"Northland put on a fantastic night here at the Forum North in Whangarei where all the schools showcased their creativity and innovation. Tonight's show reflects how Stage Challenge is a great pathway for youth to creativity express themselves and their values," Miss Reid said.
Stage Challenge offers the perfect platform for students to develop self-belief, confidence and resilience, as the safe, fun and exciting atmosphere upholds key values of attending school, working towards realistic education goals, and staying fit and healthy without tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
Kamo High and Kerikeri High also took part.