College – Issue 40

It started in 1998 with Ghetto and ended in 2020 with Evita . Larger-than-life Director of Drama David Chambers retired at the end of 2020, leaving a school missing the man whose sheer energy for life, let alone passion for theatre, has left an incomparable mark on Christ’s College. Under his direction, College presented a series of remarkable productions, many of them musicals, and absolute high school highlights for the boys involved on and back stage – even providing

at Aranui. The kids needed to be challenged with fun projects and that’s what the musicals really offered.” He was in many productions with Showbiz Christchurch during the 1970s–1990s, fitting rehearsals in around his full-time teaching load. He took leave in 1984 to tour New Zealand and Hawaii in the ensemble of an international company presenting Evita , by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Nearly 40 years on, Evita became his swansong for Christ’s College, amid the memorable backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Drama was a co-curricular activity in high schools until the late 1980s, when it started to become part of the curriculum. David was quickly onboard with the idea, eager to apply his passion for drama in the classroom. At College, he was tasked with establishing a dedicated Drama department. They were hectic times, with planning for the Old Boys’ Theatre, his own drama work with organisations outside school, being a sounding board for NCEA and NZQA unit standards, and the establishment of the NZQA Drama curriculum.

the foundation for several professional acting careers.

“ I think themost important thing you can do is to set up and build on really good traditions.Once you’ve got them right you must do everything you can tomaintain and enhance them.We do that well here! ” David Chambers

David, or DC as the boys call him, arrived at College in 1998, after many years teaching at Aranui High School and a stint at Linwood High School as Head of Performing Arts. “I’d found drama – my passion and joy – as a Year 13 student at Nelson College, and I wanted to share it with the kids and teachers

College Issue 40 2021


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