Recycling is second nature in productions

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Hartley School of Performing Arts director Dale Hartley-Brown has been holding sewing bees and working bees in preparation for the school's junior production on September 28. Photo: Supplied
Hartley School of Performing Arts director Dale Hartley-Brown has been holding sewing bees and working bees in preparation for the school's junior production on September 28. Photo: Supplied
By David Hill

Finding a new life or purpose for old costumes and sets is all part of preparing for a production, says Dale Hartley-Brown.

The Hartley School of Performing Arts has been reusing and recycling costumes, sets and props, visiting second-hand shops and retrieving scraps ahead of this year's junior production.

''We could look online and find that whatever we buy isn't going to be quite right, so it's better to make it ourselves.''

She says in the lead-up to any production, visits are made to local second-hand shops, Creative Junk in Christchurch and the Southbrook Resource Recovery Park, as well as going through old costumes and sets to come up with new ideas.

''It's a lot of fun to look at things and think about what else we can make out of it. It's the fun thing about a production; we create a new world out of whatever we can find.''

In preparation for the school's junior production, The Happy Prince, cup cakes have been made out of foam from the insides of old cushions, while golden leaves, river reeds and costumes for swallow birds, Egyptian townsfolk and ''frost dancers'' are being created.

A sewing bee was held recently at Rangiora craft shop Handzon, which is owned by a parent whose child attends the school.

''It was a lovely night sitting around creating things,'' Dale says.

The Happy Prince is being directed by Elliott Andrews, who is directing a show by himself for the first time.

It features a cast of 100 children aged from 4 to 11, with several youngsters appearing in their first show.

The Happy Prince will be performed at the Rangiora Town Hall on Saturday, September 28, with shows at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are on sale at Town Hall Cinemas. Go online to townhallcinemas.co.nz/live-shows.

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