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Despite being filled with human-killing robots, deadly viruses and vicious wolves, Dunedin's Edgar Centre was the place to be last night.
It was the scene of the ASB 2013 Stage Challenge, where 11 Otago schools took to the stage for the Dunedin leg of New Zealand's largest and longest-running youth performing arts event.
And despite the implied danger, about 1000 people turned up to see Bayfield High School (Ring a Ring a Rosy), Logan Park High School (Battle of the Wolves), Queen's High School (The Ripple Effect), King's High School (The Humans are Dead), South Otago High School (The Fiordland Monorail), Otago Girls' High School (Our-tearoa), St Hilda's Collegiate (The Circle of Life), Kaikorai Valley College (Behind Closed Doors), Columba College (Alice Finding Alice), Waimate High School (Charlie's Choices) and Wakatipu High School (Mind Your Manners) perform.
The event aims to motivate young people to engage in positive and healthy lifestyles while providing an opportunity to be part of a professional performing arts event that provides a lasting memory.
Event manager Sarah-Jane Phillips said the event gave pupils a chance to experience ''that natural high you get when performing onstage'' in front of audiences of hundreds of people.
Last night's performances were the result of many months of preparation and rehearsal by pupils, teachers, parents and wider communities.
The performances were based on themes significant to the community or on concepts as vast as they could imagine - from political and social messages to pure fantasy, Ms Phillips said.
Stage Challenge producer Helen Sjoquist was delighted with how the event had grown over the past 21 years.
She said Stage Challenge continued to provide a first-class professional event for young people to showcase their skills in dance, drama and design.
It also carried with it key messages of attending school regularly, goal setting, staying fit and healthy, and having fun without tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.
''More than 250,000 students have been part of the event and I am proud to witness and hear about their accomplishments both at school and in their future careers,'' she said.
Results of last night's event will be officially announced firstname.lastname@example.org