Cross-school effort earns prize

Logan Park High School is leading the way in a new era of performing arts around the southern region.

The school won the inaugural Otago and Southland regional heat of the New Zealand Showquest competition, held in Invercargill earlier this week.

The new competition replaces the Stage Challenge competition, which ceased last year because of funding issues.

Teacher in charge of the school's production Jennifer Ashby said Showquest was quite different from Stage Challenge, which was a dance competition.

Showquest allowed pupils from years 1-13 to showcase their skills in music, drama, dance and art by creating, producing and performing an original theatrical production using pupil-designed and constructed costumes and props, presented in a choreographed, themed mini-spectacular.

Logan Park High School pupil directors (centre, from left) Olivia Bradfield (17), Linea Simons (17) and Josie Baughen (16) celebrate with the cast after winning the inaugural Otago and Southland Showquest in Invercargill. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Logan Park High School pupil directors (centre, from left) Olivia Bradfield (17), Linea Simons (17) and Josie Baughen (16) celebrate with the cast after winning the inaugural Otago and Southland Showquest in Invercargill. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN

"It's a much bigger project than Stage Challenge. It's huge. It spans the entire school."

Pupil director Linea Simons said the theme of their show was about the importance of family and how governments could manipulate people into submission by separating families.

"One of our big themes was how propaganda can be used to manipulate public opinion without them even knowing it.

"That leads to groups of people being cast out of society or discriminated against."

She said their show contained costumes, sets, choreography, media, dance, art, wearable arts, live music, an original music composition and a background film - all of which were created by pupils at the school.

More than 50 pupils were involved and rehearsed for about two months for their performance.

After hearing they had won, Linea said they were all in "la-la land".

"It's been amazing. I think we're all very proud. We did a good job. I'm so proud of everyone in the team."

Fiordland College was second and James Hargest Senior College was third.

Logan Park High School's live performance was filmed and will now be sent, along with the footage of other winning regional performances, to a panel of judges who will pick an overall national winner.

An announcement will be made in September.

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