After a hugely successful run earlier this year, our musical Into the Woods received rave reviews from parents and friends of the school alike. However, it wasn't just the ACG community who were impressed by the talents of our Strathallan performers.
Judges from Auckland Live Showdown – a citywide Secondary School production competition – also attended the popular musical extravaganza. And due to the exceptional quality of the show, the cast and crew have received a staggering 27 nominations in the upcoming awards, including Outstanding Musical and Best Production.
Offering a focal point for the performing arts, the highly respected Auckland Live Showdown competition is headed by a judging panel of experienced theatre practitioners who review shows throughout the year. From this, they release a list of nominees across various categories such as performance, technical and production, musical and drama.
"At ACG Strathallan, we encourage our students to enhance their school life through extracurricular pursuits, including our annual musical production," confirms Sophia Grobler, who, among her many roles at the school, is also the Activities Director. "Under our staff directors' enthusiastic and skilful guidance, more and more students are getting involved in these shows and are challenged to rise above what they believe they can do. This year's student cast consisted of 50 actors, singers and dancers, 25 musicians and 14 crew members.
"Because of the complexity of this particular show, students were involved in five months of rehearsals before staging the musical in June. This was a significant commitment, especially when balancing their studies and home lives. However, everyone always arrived with a smile on their face, full of enthusiasm and ready to participate. We couldn't be prouder of their efforts, and it has been a pleasure to watch the growth of their confidence and skills.
"Congratulations to everyone in the show for making this one of our most memorable productions to date. Thank you for your dedication and for sharing your talents and time with us. Keep singing, acting, playing music, dancing, joining in and contributing – it inspires and brings joy to us all.”
Adds Director Penny Stafford-Bush, “Into the Woods required us to use all our talents and ingenuity, including building three different, separate moveable households on the stage that our crew could quickly transform into a magical wood. However, the most challenging and rewarding aspect of my role was utilising the 30 students who auditioned but didn’t get a named part in a show that technically didn’t have a chorus. I couldn’t ignore their desire to be on stage, so I created non-speaking roles of guards escorting the princes, servants attending the stepmother and sisters, and trees and birds to ensure everyone could participate.
"I loved the enthusiasm the students brought to this idea and the encouragement they gave each other to stay in character, whether by holding a spear correctly or swaying in the wind like a tree. The skill and artistic ability of the principals complemented so well with the chorus. I am immensely proud of how well the whole production crew, both on and off stage, strove to do their very best and how well they transported the audience Into the Woods."
ACG Strathallan Top Nominations
|Outstanding Musical||ACG Strathallan|
|Best Production||ACG Strathallan|
|CCMT Award for Best Female in a Leading Role (Musical)||Taylor Newbury (The Baker's Wife)|
|CCMT Award for Best Male in a Leading Role (Musical)||Carlton Powell (The Baker)|
|Best Female in a Supporting Role (Musical)||Eva Talyancich (Little Red Riding Hood); Khimberley Grogan (The Witch); Mia Willis (Cinderella)|
|Best Male in a Supporting Role (Musical)||Dylan Cooper (Jack); Jack Schroeder (Rapunzel's Prince)|
|Best Choreography Performance||The cast of Into the Woods|
|Best Chorus Performance||The cast of Into the Woods|
|Best Director||Penny Stafford-Bush|
|Best Musical Director||Josh Mckay|
|Best Choreographer(s)||Rebekah Brady & Preyesi Arora|
|Best Costume Design||Penny Stafford-Bush|
|Best Set Design||Penny Stafford-Bush|
Winners will be announced at a formal awards evening on Thursday, 3rd November.