School buzzing as opening night looms

Mac actors in Legally Blonde JR include (back row, from left) Niamh Groenen, 15, Kaitlyn Tooley,...
Mac actors in Legally Blonde JR include (back row, from left) Niamh Groenen, 15, Kaitlyn Tooley, 15, Emma Head,14, Camilla Foskett, 12, Merryn Foster, 13; (middle, from left) Anoushka Brahmin, 15, Ivy Craig, 13, Sophie Hawkins, 14, Mia Gemmell, 14, Lottie King, 14, Alice Chaly, 12; (front from left) Charlotte Sheppard, 13, Maxene Ursua, 15, Gemma Cragg, 12. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A large troupe of teenage musical performers are buzzing with anticipation as they rehearse their upcoming production, Legally Blonde JR, to be performed at the Lake Wānaka Centre from May 16-18.

The production enlists the talents of 87 akonga (pupils) from Te Kura o Tititea Mount Aspiring College (Mac) and they are hoping for full houses at the fun, comedic show.

Directed by Mac drama teacher Lisa Clough, the musical follows Elle Wood’s journey from Malibu party girl to "serious" Harvard law graduate, while not compromising who she is and what she stands for.

Ms Clough said it was exciting for the cast and crew to showcase their learning to the wider community.

"It is magic seeing them working collaboratively towards a common goal.

"It’s a privilege to witness these young people growing and flourishing while courageously performing in a way they may not have done before.

"This show is one of many co-curricular learning experiences we offer to help students develop skills they can use in the performing arts and also in life. 

"This production is funny, fast-paced and poignant, and our akonga are doing a superb job of bringing it to life for the stage," she said.

Suki Leigh is in year 13 and plays a character called Paulette.

Performing in Legally Blonde JR was an amazing experience that had pushed her out of her comfort zone, she said.

"I feel so grateful for the opportunity to work on a project that brings together so many areas of the arts, and so many different people. 

"I can’t wait to be able to share it with the rest of the community," Suki said.

Alice Chaly, who plays Sabrina, was looking forward to the live performances.

"I can’t wait to be on stage with my friends and see all our hard work come together when we perform in front of a live audience."

Ford Mills, 12, plays Grandmaster Chad. He said he loved the mood of the rehearsals.



  • WHAT: Legally Blonde JR musical theatre
  • WHERE: Lake Wānaka Centre
  • WHEN: May 16-18, 7.30pm; May 18 2.30pm matinee.
  • ABOUT: Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Based on the book by Amanda Brown and the hit  movie starring Reese Witherspoon.
  • MORE INFO: Tickets $30/$20/$80 on Eventfinda.