High school Stage Challenge

23:49, May 18 2010

Animal cruelty was the theme of this year's Stage Challenge performance by Kaikoura High School students.

The Do You Care Enough? performance was based on animal cruelty and the lack of justice that students felt offenders of these acts faced.

This was a topic that students felt strongly about – so strongly in fact they started a petition asking for better justice for animal cruelty offenders.

Julie McDonald, head chorographer and performer said the aim was to win the raw division but it was really about getting the message out.

"Animals are getting hurt so we wanted to raise awareness of the issue and we decided to do the performance and have petition at stage challenge."

So far the petition has 180 signatures and the students plan to send it to Paw Justice, an organisation set up to fight for animal rights.

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Sixty-five students ranging from Year 7 to Year 13 performed in the show which took eight weeks of preparation.

"The hardest bit is teaching everyone the moves and not getting frustrated. It takes lots of patience," Julie says.

Stage Challenge offers a unique platform for youth expression and the opportunity for students to organise and perform in every aspect of a stage show. Merrin Diack, drama teacher at Kaikoura High School, says students have developed leadership skills and shown "commitment, dedication and focus" during the whole process.

"They were absolutely amazing and I'm very proud of them," said Miss Diack.

Kaikoura High School won five excellence awards on the night for concept, sound track, costumes, character, environment or social awareness and school initiative.

Julie acknowledged how hard everyone had worked thanked Miss Diack for her efforts and support.

Kaikoura Star