Talented teen trio lurks in the wings

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 09:11 19/10/2012
TALENTED TEENS
MONICA TISCHLER
DRIVEN STUDENTS: Liston College students, from left: Anthony Yelavich, 17, Josiah Carr, 18, and James Devereaux, 18, are involved in student-led production What Lurks Among Saints, on at Massey High School this weekend.

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What started off as something to help get them a few more credits has turned out to be the first step toward a possible career.

What Lurks Among Saints isn't just like every other school production.

The whole show has been written, directed and musically accompanied by Liston College students Josiah Carr, James Devereaux and Anthony Yelavich.

Eighteen-year-old James directed the musical, a challenging but rewarding task.

"This is my first time doing anything like this. I've always preferred the onstage part of things but directing has been really good," he says.

"You have to put in a lot of detail and effort."

What Lurks Among Saints, which debuts at Massey High School's state-of-the-art performing arts centre this weekend, is set in Chicago in 1962 and tells the story of a newcomer to the city's political scene who steals the attention of many townspeople, including a determined businesswoman.

Director of the orchestra and scriptwriter, 18-year-old Josiah, says it has been rewarding seeing the musical take shape.

"It's great seeing everyone take it as their own and develop their own characters," he says.

"It's been so much bigger than what we ever imagined. It's really cool."

Anthony, 17, has written the script and also plays the role of the Bishop.

"I've always wanted to be in a production so I made an opportunity for myself."

He says the students have been working on the play since the Christmas holidays last year, where they all began brainstorming ideas.

"We needed a conflict in our story, and a climatic event. We decided upon the characters, and then built the story around them," he says.

James is also the school's head boy and even though he's used to being in a leadership role, says the direction he gained while working on the musical was rewarding.

"I've really enjoyed the leadership of it. We've been left to run it ourselves, which is something you don't often hear of in a school production," he says.

"It has been really cool and something very new. We've learnt how to run dress rehearsals and pull it altogether which has been really great," he says.

Head of music at Liston College Janice Spearritt says it's been exciting watching the musical unfold.

"It's just been my job all along to give them the opportunity to do what they want to do, and to give the boys that opportunity to get on with it and learn is just great," she says.

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"It's really taken on a life of its own."

What Lurks Among Saints has a cast of 26 students from both Liston and St Dominic's College.

Students involved in the musical will gain NCEA level three credits.

The musical will be held at Massey High School's Performing Arts Centre tonight at 7.30pm and tomorrow at both 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Get tickets from Liston College or on the door, with proceeds going towards an outdoor performing area for drama and music students.

- Western Leader

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