Friday, July 30, 2010

Epic Success!

This has been a blatantly epic week in the Arts.  Not only are Production and Dance NZ Made rehearsals well underway with casting well and truly in place, we have had a spectacular week for awards.

Last Saturday was the regional Rockquest competition.  "Artificial Sun", our senior rock band, have been working so hard all year to be ready for the competition.  They rocked the house with their original songs.  They took out 2nd overall, and the greatest achievement of the night was when Barney Johnson was named as the best musician of the night.  Well done Barney!  If you want to catch "Artificial Sun" in action, check out gig dates on their Facebook fan page, or check out the last Wednesday of each month at the Ascot Theatre in Upper Hutt, where they have been making routine performances to a packed crowd.

This week was the intercolligiate Theatresports Competition in Masterton.  We entered 7 teams in the 3 divisions, and had great success.  Monday night we had "The Pineapple Express" performing and coming 2nd in the competition that night.  The team was comprised of Kaden, Ale, Sian and Dan.  On Tuesday the Yr 9 team "Bad Ass Monster Truckers" also were ranked 2nd, comprised of Kate, Moana, Natalia, Isle, Camille and Aodhan.  Wednesday was a big night with 3 teams in the Senior Novice section.  "Alphabet Soup" (Wai, Zemira, Lexie, Jamie and Adam) and "Team Group Anonymous" (Alena, Chaedyn, Aaron and Jan) were ranked 3rd equal.  "The Costa Rican National Team" (Finn, Vale, Zoe and Jasmine) also competed, and despite giving magnificent performances, were unranked.

The final night was the biggie, with 2 teams in the senior open grade final.  "Neopolitan" (Arjun, Darren, Katie, Rowan and Donal) were hilarious and showed their true talent onstage.  Their word-at-a-time may not be their favourite game, but they were wonderful.  "Sammy 'the wonder-horse" Dodges" (Dom, Louis, Barney, James and Daniel) really pulled out all the stops and worked well as a team taking out the win.  This is only the 2nd time Kuranui has ever won this division, and with Makoura College, the only school ever to have beaten Wairarapa College.  Wai Coll have been such legends in the past, and really played well last night.  It is always a privilege to work with their senior students.

So it was a magnificent week, and no doubt we will all catch our breath shortly!  Well done students, and carry on the good work!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Term 3 begins!

With half the year gone, it is time to herald in the start of Term 3.

This term brings new classes to the junior Arts subjects, as all Year 9 students and the vast majority of Year 10 students change their options.  So have a good semester people, and enjoy the change.  The term also brings a new teacher to the department, and we would like to welcome Ms Beecroft, who will be teaching Visual Art with Mr Thompson.

Upcoming shortly is both the inter-coll theatresports competition and Rockquest.  We have been successful in both competitions in the past, and look forward to having another go this year.

With half the year gone, senior students now have to look towards the exams at the end of the year.  Yes, even the performing Arts have a major examination component!  So get studying people, make sure you know what it is you have to do.  And prepare.

Subject selections for 2011 will be happening soon.  Remember Year 9's, you get to pick 1 or 2 Arts options for the year.  Year 10's, you will get 3 subjects to pick for NCEA in 2011, and you may take up to 3 Arts lines if you wish.  Remember that you need to have taken the chosen Art line in the junior school to participate, and Music requires that you play an instrument.  Year 11 students will get a chance to branch out, remembering that entry requirements for Year 12 subjects are usually 12 credits in Level 1.  Year 12 students need to think about the possibility of Scholarship subjects in Year 13.  Talk with your teachers about it.  I would encourage all of you to try at least 1 scholarship subject, as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The last few weeks of Term 2.

So, it has been a long time since the last post.  Whoops.  Things have been THAT busy.

With Stage Challenge over, and well done again girls, and Shakespeare finally over, we have launched into the major Musical Production of the year.  We are doing "The Wizard of Oz" and the cast look amazing at this point.  The auditions were fraught with difficulty as I stupidly broke my ankle a week before the auditions.... but through the magic of technology, they happened in style.  Typical for the school we had auditions from people who knew they would be overseas (Catharina Wickman), have already graduated (Hugh Philip) and did not even go to the school (Owen Winter).... so all was entertaining to say the least.

Well done Alena-Rose Burt who has been cast as Dorothy, Barney Johnson as the Scarecrow, Dominic Hawke as the Tinman and Arjun Pathmanathan as the Cowardly Lion.  Other key roles went to Darren Dingle, Louis Gray, Kendall Charles, Ilse Botha, Waimarama Phillips and Katie James.  It is a very strong cast, and I am looking forward to working with them.  The show will be performed in 9 short weeks over 5 key performances.  It will be amazing.

However first we have theatresports in 3 weeks time.  This is the hotly contested event of August, pitting our comedy and improvisation skills against the best Wai Coll, Rathkeale, Solway, St Matts and Chanel have to offer.  We look forward to seeing what will happen.

Since the last update we had the privilege of holding a Drama workshop with Hollywood legend, and ex-pupil, Vincent Ward.  Vince came in and spoke about a life/career in Drama, and the need to be more than just an actor.  He was brilliant, and we all developed a little crush on him.  Thanks Vince for being so gracious with your time, intelligence, wisdom and experience.  He had great stories, fun activities and more than one way of entertaining a crowd.

 Vince Ward working with selected Drama students.

And we also were invited to entertain the Lions Club of the Greytown with theatresports... it was a fun night and the first time for the group to perform for an audience.  It was nerve wracking, but good fun.  Highlights of the night involve Darren Dingle skipping, Arjun grooming a llama, and Kaden Saywell not knowing Paul Henry's name!

And we hosted the Melbourne Circus at school, learning new skills in juggling, diabolo, plate spinning, devil sticking, and problem solving. It was a fun day, and a great opportunity.
The chaos of circus in the auditorium

And we spent 2 days on tour with the College Roadshow.  6 performances over 2 days was a big ask, but the performers did magnificently.  Thanks sooooo much to Ms Webster, Mrs Phillips, and Ms Pratt for all of their hard work, and the magnificent performers who were stunning over the 2 days.  Dance, Music, Drama, Art and Photography put out a good show, and really proved how talented they all are.

The Roadshow Crew