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‘iChoose’: Anti Bullying Programme in Auckland Schools

15 February 2013

‘iChoose’, Innovative Anti Bullying Programme Launches in Auckland Schools

“iChoose”, an innovative anti-bullying programme will be launched in Auckland schools on 25 February 2013. The programme was launched in the United States in 2010 and has since toured high schools in Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles and Oslo, Norway.

iChoose is aimed at helping youth bullying for what it is: a choice.

iChoose challenges people to stop, think and remember that their choices matter. The programme comprises of a 20 minute musical production by young New Zealand performers, followed by a discussion with students facilitated by the cast members. The show will be followed up with the internationally successful Victory Over Violence (“VOV”) exhibition.

iChoose was created by the international Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP), an organisation founded by international artists like renowned Jazz musicians Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, guitarist Carlos Santana and actor Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing in “Dallas”) who are committed to using the power of creativity to foster a culture of peace and non-violence. The founding principles of ICAP are inspired by Buddhist and Gandhian ideals of non-violence. ICAP is bringing the programme to New Zealand.

Featuring actress Bronwyn Turei (Cody in the hit TV series “Go Girls”), Auckland comedian Greg Goodyer and hip hop artist Jaime Latima, cast members for the NZ production have been picked locally. iChoose director Lisa Brickell says that the iChoose musical has been adapted to reflect the unique Pacific flavour of Auckland.

“The unique thing about the cast is that each of them has a strong personal connection to bullying, either as a bully or someone who has experienced bullying. During the audition, we asked the performers to share their thoughts on bullying and we were blown away by their personal experiences," Lisa says.

Lisa is passionate about promoting non-violence among young people. She is part of the Buddhist group, Soka Gakkai International of New Zealand (SGINZ) which is assisting ICAP with the NZ tour. Lisa and her husband, Dion Hitchins were active in SGINZ’s award winning programme Victory Over Violence Aotearoa, an anti-violence programme run by young volunteers in Auckland, Reporoa, Wellington and Dunedin.

“iChoose and VOV is about helping to break the cycle of violence among teenagers. A big part of these programmes is recognising passive violence, which according to Gandhi, is fuel for physical violence. In order to stop physical violence we need to identify and cut off the fuel supply,” she says.

“Getting involved in these programmes helped me to confront the history of depression in my family and helped Dion face the murder of a close family member by three teenagers.”

iChoose will be performed in ten Auckland high schools from 25 February 2013. There are plans to tour Wellington schools in 2014.

What: iChoose dress rehearsal. Open to the public.
When: Saturday 23 February 2013, 1.30pm – 3pm
Where: 40 Eaglehurst Road, Ellerslie, Auckland.

Entry is free.

More information on the International Committee of Artists of Peace (ICAP) can be found on www.icapeace.org.

Soka Gakkai International of New Zealand is part of Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist based non-governmental organisation with the UN which actively promotes peace, culture and education. The Victory of Violence Aotearoa programme won the Sonia Davies’ Peace Award in 2007 for its grassroots effort to help teenagers identify the causes of violence in their lives and communities and foster a culture of peace in their environment. More information can be found on www.sginz.org.

LIST OF SCHOOLS

Monday Feb 25
am: Mr Albert Grammar School TBC
pm: Dilworth School

Tuesday Feb 26
am: Albany High School
Pm: Tangaroa College

Wednesday Feb 27
am: One Tree Hill College.
pm: De La Salle College.

Thursday Feb 28
am: Edgewater College.
pm: Southern Cross College.

Friday March 1
am: Kelston Boys High School.
pm: Kelston Girls High School.
CAST AND CREW LIST

Bronwyn Turei (“Go Girls”)
Greg Goodyer
Kyle Chuen
Lole Kata
Jordan Eliu
Isaac Nonu
Jamie Latima
Jane Carey Leigh Paul
Phoebe Borwick
Kimberley Robbins

Director: Lisa Brickell
Musical Director: Jason Te Mete
Choreographer: Whetu Silver
Producer: ICAP- International Committee of Artists for Peace
Producing partner: Soka Gakkai International of NZ (Jimi Wallace and Anna Marbrook)
Production Assistant: Nicole Simmons, Ali Maxwell
School liaison: Greg Goodyer
Public Relations: Joycelyn Foo
Catering: Barbara Sim, Pat Lim
Additional: Mari Gordon

Supported by UNITEC

Main profiles

Bronwyn Turei
Bronwyn hails from sunny Gisborne and from a young age knew she wanted to tell stories, good stories, either through music or a long-winded yarn over a hot cuppa. With a love of the Arts and the help of a passionate High School Drama teacher she got to perform Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London, study at Unitec Performing Stage & Screen Arts majoring in Acting, and take an adaptation of a Maori Myth to the Victoria Arts Center in Melbourne and to the Sydney Opera House. Since then she has toured Auckland Primary Schools performing in educational musicals and starred in the premiere of 'Raising The Titanics' produced by Smack Bang Theatre Company, directed by Raymond Hawthorne. Bronwyn is also a well loved television actress, having played the core cast role 'Cody Latimer' in the hit NZ show 'Go Girls' for four seasons. She has recently released an EP with her band 'Katie Scott & the Miss T's' who have filmed their first music video with NZ On Air funding. She loves working with youth and is excited for this next great adventure!

Greg Goodyer
Greg’s first experience of acting was as a pilot in a university French club production.Greg has pursued his love of comedy by studying clowning with Lisa Brickell in New Zealand and Giovanni Fusetti in Europe. His two favourite creations are Francois Condom – a French tourist - and his impersonation of the Prime Minister – which has appeared on TV3’s Campbell Live Election Special, as well as Maori TV, TV One and TV3’s comedy show Jono and Ben at Ten.

Kyle Chuen
Kyle is an actor, singer and dancer with a degree from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts. He has professionally performed in New Zealand for The Court Theatre, The Fortune Theatre, A Different Light Theatre Company, Silo Theatre, Peach Theatre Company, Southern Opera, Abbey Musical Theatre, Musical Theatre Dunedin and the Blue Baths in various plays/musicals/operas.

ENDS

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