The wealth of young talent in South Taranaki drew Hāwera Repertory Society to plan a new kind of production.

In 2020, the Society will stage Bugsy Malone- and it will be a cast and crew of 11 to 18-year-olds.

Each department head will mentor a youth, says show director Samantha Turner.

The young person chosen for a voluntary directorial internship is Hāwera's Noah Hunt.

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Choreographer Michelle Glover will be assisted by Jamie Sayers and vocal coach Shane Burgess is still looking for his mentee.

'We've always had a lot of teens helping anyway- we're still after a vocal assistant, stage manager's assistant, properties assistant and lighting and sound assistants. We're taking applications at the moment."

The students will shadow their mentor from production beginning to end, getting the opportunity to explore different aspects of theatre while adding to their resumes and experience.

"Not everyone wants to be on stage all the time. There are a lot of children around who are interested in all aspects of theatre," Sam says.

"It's most likely that there are more out there who don't get involved because they think they'll have to be on stage. We want to give them the opportunity to be involved too."

Those wanting to be on stage have the perfect opportunity with Bugsy Malone. It's a play with music, set in a 1920s speakeasy.

"It's so much fun - every role is played by a child pretending to be an adult. They wear suits, use splurge guns and have an absolute blast on stage. There are some songs but it's not a musical so not all of the characters sing."

Auditions will be held on Sunday February 16, with call-backs on Thursday February 20. Role allocations will be announced soon after that. Anyone in years seven to 13 at school is eligible to audition.

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There are still slots available but they're filling up fast.

Directors will be looking to see how auditionees interpret the character, have done their homework and know what the role is about.

The performance season will run from June 30 to July 4 at the Hāwera Memorial Theatre.

■ Anyone interested in auditioning should email bugsymalone@hawerarep.org