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Student stories - Arts

Success for drama at Showdown

ACG Parnell College took out a raft of prizes at the 10th annual Showdown Awards – the Auckland secondary school production competition held at SkyCity.

Students and parents attended the awards evening, representing the students involved in the school’s two productions of 2017 – ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Oliver’.

The senior drama production was a clear winner, picking up three awards:

  • Best Costume Design – Kshema Amirapu and Amanda Burnett, Down the Rabbit Hole, ACG Parnell College
  • Best Male in a Leading Role (Play) – Flynn Mehlhopt (Hatter), Down the Rabbit Hole, ACG Parnell College
  • iTICKET Award for Outstanding Play – Down the Rabbit Hole, ACG Parnell College

“The highlight was everyone going up onstage to accept the award for outstanding play, and getting the chance to thank everyone who helped us with the show,” said drama student Spencer Earwaker, in Year 13, who attended the event and plans to pursue a career in stage management and technical theatre.

“Being a drama student and taking part in the extra-curricular drama activities at the college has taught me a lot about resilience, working under pressure and working with others. It’s really awesome to spend a couple months crafting something with a great group of people, and then being able to be really proud of the result.”

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ was an adaptation of Lewis Caroll’s original Alice in Wonderland.  Drama teacher Amanda Burnett mixed it with the Disney play, the musical, the movie and other adaptations to produce a fresh and challenging script. The result was quirky, comical and magical.

Performed at the end of term 2, the production was, conceptually, one of the most challenging the school has put on. The play didn’t have just one Alice, for example, but four. Male and female.

“Creating a world that comes from the page took hours of work, lots of paper cuts, dedication and creativity. The cast were not just the actors, but they were collaborators, designers, costumers and prop makers. Every moment of the play was a testament to their dedication, passion and heart,” Ms Burnett said.