A bar, dancers, villains all play part in high school musical production

A few of the Hawera High School Rock of Ages members hanging out at the Bourbon Room. Back: Serena Rook, Briana Watkins, ...
JANE MATTHEWS/FAIRFAX NZ

A few of the Hawera High School Rock of Ages members hanging out at the Bourbon Room. Back: Serena Rook, Briana Watkins, Noah Hunt, Te Kiri King, director Alison Wright, Angelisa Hanikawhe. Front: Kayleigh Duncan and Kaylee Mihaljevich.

The high school version of a risque musical is coming to the Hawera Memorial Theatre. 

Rock of Ages is a musical based in the 80s and it will be Hawera High School's first school production in six years. 

Director Alison Wright said the production  was based in a bar called the Bourbon Room, which is going to be torn down by some villains. 

"It's set in a bar with dancers and stuff, so you still get a bit of that," Wright said. 

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"This is the high school version, so people who have seen the movie know it's a little risque, but the story has been adapted for high schools." 

The production is said to be full of humour, singing and overall talent. 

Wright, who directs alongside Catherine Saysell, said the production was going to be great because of the involvement of everyone.  

"We have fantastic kids in Hawera," she said. 

"And we have a fantastic community of people working together." 

Wright said the cast of about 80, with over 100 students involved backstage, was made up of a range of performers from their first year at high school, to ex-students.

Not to mention the community involvement. 

"There are people in the community that don't even have kids at school that we have affiliations with," Wright said. 

Cath Mehrtens, whose children have left school, has been dubbed costumes and camp mum. 

Mehrtens said even coming from outside the school, "you get a real connection with of these kids". 

Wright said productions like these are what students take away with them as memories. 

"This is the stuff kids remember from school, not that chemistry class that they sat in in whatever year," she said. 

"These songs, they'll never forget." 

Wright said she only remembered a couple of teachers from high school because she had a great connection with them. 

"But I can tell you every show I've ever been in and every role I've ever played, and I probably still could remember some of the lines," she said. 

The production will run for eight nights from June 28. Tickets are available from South Taranaki iSite: $25 for adults, and $15 for children and students and the ticket sales will cover all the costs. 

"We're not trying to make a profit, we're trying to put on a good show,"  Wright said. 

 - Stuff

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