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Stage Challenge National Award winners 2016




Photo credit: QuikPix

(20/09/2016 – AKL, NZ) The Stage Challenge Foundation is excited to announce that after an enthralling nationwide tour which involved more than 14,000 participants from 180 schools, Wanganui High School have won 1st Place in the 2016 national awards with their powerful performance, 29 Below.

November 19, 2010, forever remembered in NZ’s history. Pike River miners went to work, 29 never returned. In years past, canaries monitored gas levels in mines - if canaries stopped singing, and died, dangerous gas levels were indicated and miners knew to flee. It defies belief that in a contemporary mine there was not even a canary to signal danger.

National Judge Cate Prestidge viewed footage of schools that placed at every event throughout the country focusing on Concept, Soundtrack and Drama. Prestidge offered nothing but praise for Wanganui High School’s performance calling it, “Confident, confrontational and powerful, which the audience would have found incredibly moving”.

Now in its 24th year, 2016 was another stellar Stage Challenge year, as youth throughout the nation continue to raise the bar with their creativity and expression. Prestidge supports this saying, “The thinking and research behind many performances was exceptional and strong. Creative work was apparent in all aspects of the entries from set and costume design to the narratives and performances”.

In a close second place was Tauranga Girls’ College with their empowering performance Sacred Journey – I am strength, I am beauty, which had Prestidge raving - calling it a “Positive and strong performance that audiences would have found easy to relate to due to the overall message of one’s journey to womanhood”.

Sharing third place was Hawera High School with their performance No More Borders and Rotorua Girls’ High School with Looking Back, Moving Forward.

Event Coordinator Shanell Bielawa also adds, Stage Challenge is such a well-rounded, widely appreciated event – to not only be nominated for a national award but to win one is an amazing achievement. Well done to all of this year’s winners”.

Although they didn’t receive a national award, Prestidge made a special mention of Papamoa High School and their performance - Dia De Los Muertos- The Day of The Dead, which was based on the Mexican tradition of celebrating the memories you have for someone who’s passed on. Prestidge called it “visually stunning” due to the dramatic use of skeleton props and the powerful concept Papamoa High portrayed.

Stage Challenge Production Manager, Duane Inocencio announced two Backstage Award winners - Mount Maunganui College and Wairarapa College. Wairarapa College had an impressive backstage crew, whilst Mount Maunganui College presented Mr Inocencio with a fantastic ‘Crew Portfolio’, which outlined their props and the purpose of each in great detail.

The Stage Challenge Foundation congratulates all of the schools that participated throughout the country. 2016 was another fantastic year of youth creativity and expression.

Please find below a complete list of awards and placings below.

2016 Stage Challenge® 1st Place National Division Wanganui High School
2016 Stage Challenge® 2nd Place National Division Tauranga Girls’ College
2016 Stage Challenge® 3rd Place National Division (Shared) Rotorua Girls’ High School, Hawera High School
Ministry of Education
National Award of Excellence for Concept
Whangarei Girls’ High School
Ministry of Youth Development
National Award of Excellence for Drama
Bream Bay College
The Edge
National Award of Excellence for Soundtrack
Sacred Heart Girls’ College (Hamilton)
National Backstage Crew Winners (Shared) Mount Maunganui College, Wairarapa College
Ministry of Youth Development
National Award of Excellence for Student Leadership
Christchurch Girls’ & Boys’ High School Combined (Pieta McAleer- Harding)

Stage Challenge & J Rock offers the perfect platform for students to develop self-belief, confidence and resilience, as the safe, fun and exciting atmosphere upholds key values of attending school, working towards realistic education goals, and staying fit and healthy without tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

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