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Cabaret, but not as you know it

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Cabaret, but not as you know it

Expect the unexpected. Think UCOL performers meet Cabaret, meets High School Musical – but darker.

Under the innovative direction of Lecturer Jaime Dorner, UCOL Diploma in Performing Arts students are set to turn a cabaret style show into Glee, but with a serious message.

Coming of Age in New Zealand – A Cabaret, tackles issues that young people may face as they navigate their way through their formative years.

Set in a High School, the show looks at social questions around self-harm, bullying, peer pressure and suicide. “They are heavy issues,” says Jaime. “But we do have some fun with the things we can satirise.”

Depicting the experiences with song, dance and theatre, the school uniform clad troupe typifies all the characters of a high school era.

The 20 young Diploma students have had a huge amount of input especially to the script. They interviewed Youth One Stop Shop (YOSS) clients about their experiences and contributed their own life lessons to the development of the production.

UCOL Music Tutor and the show’s Concept and Musical Director Suzy Hawes, says the students were encouraged to make the production their own so they could relate the issues to a young audience.

The songs are largely of New Zealand origin or “irresistibly tied to the theme,” says Suzie who was responsible for choosing the music. “We also had to make sure there were older songs included to appeal to the more mature members of our audiences.”

The show will feature a live band, and be performed ‘in the spirit of cabaret’.

The Eulogy Lounge at the Awapuni Racecourse is a new venue for UCOL’s Performing Arts students to work in. “There is plenty of room for rehearsals and show nights,” says Jaime. “It is good for the students to perform out of the comfort of their studio space at UCOL.”

“It is our way of sharing our art with the community.”


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