Waihi College's Black Tuesday A Striking Success

Posted by Jenny Twiddle on 20/06/2012

Fabulous news from Waihi College! Our entry, ‘Black Tuesday’, placed second in our regional Stage Challenge event at Baycourt Theatre last Friday night!

We also picked up ELEVEN awards for excellence: Award of Excellence for Drama; Choreography; Stage Use; Soundtrack; Performance Skill; Visual Enhancement; Costuming Character; Concept; Set Design and Function; School Community; and the best, THE PINNACLE... the Spirit of Stage Challenge Award!

I cannot even begin to describe what an emotional journey this has been. During the early stages of production, our team seemed to mirror the conflict from 1912! We had backstabbers and troublemakers, attendance problems, tears, tantrums, disagreements and walkouts. Everything in fact that you would expect with a major strike or school production!

Year 12 student, Caitlin Bird stepped forward at this point as our lead choreographer. She quickly took charge and gathered together a small core group to work as the choreography team. Her confidence, passion and determination carried us forward. The piece began to grow, the mood lightened and we made amazing progress. The expectations and the stress hit the roof, but Caitlin remained strong and steadfast. Taking part in an event like this changes you forever- creating new experiences, forming friendships, learning new skills, and adding to our personal growth and confidence.

The obstacles in our path just never seemed to end. We battled our way through a minefield of teacher only days, lunchtime activities and timetable clashes, injured lead dancers and the usual costume and prop challenges.

The tragedy of losing Emilie Silberer hit us so hard. The death of a sister, friend and team member stopped us in our tracks. Her stilt walking character, the Police Sergeant was perfectly suited to her and we were just putting the finishing touches on her choreography. After a time to grieve, we called a team meeting to decide the fate of our production. The decision to proceed was unanimous and we now had a bigger reason than ever to get this show to the stage!

We carried her spirit with us and we performed beyond our best in her memory. I am very proud of every single one of our Stage Challenge Team.

Special thanks go to Jeff Thomas for building our Poppet Head set, Mitre 10 for supplying the materials, Peter Spiers for supplying pipe for police battons, Mary Carmine for her wealth of historical knowledge, Bob Paton for coming up with the perfect concept and musical score and Andrea Hill for the stunning costumes.

Jenny Twidle

Arts CoOrdinator

WAIHI COLLEGE