College – Issue 40

His first production, Ghetto , was a joint effort with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School. Since then there have been at least 200 House plays, countless major junior and senior productions, and Drama offered as a subject option, every year at every level. “Through careful valuing and validating, and by gradually breaking down the barriers, Drama has now become an accepted pathway for boys at all levels in both the core curriculum and co- curriculum. Now, New Zealand is in the situation of not having enough teachers to meet the demand.” DC sees the tradition of Drama at College as one of the school’s unique strengths. “I think the most 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 to maintain and enhance them. We do that well here. Without an agreed tradition of Drama in a school like this, there are a whole group of boys who won’t

the school of the initial work he did to break down the monoculture in the school’s thinking. “That insistence on a recognition of the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand – assisting people like Bosco Peters in that work – and by introducing the junior end-of-year three-day programme of bicultural immersion, and the commissioning of the 2004 haka. They were real highlights.” Having said that though, there’s no doubt in his mind that the 2020 production of Evita , which was produced under inordinate challenges, was a personal highlight. “That was magic – the best thing I’ve ever done.” And now it’s time for College to build on the best of his Drama legacy and use it to forge ahead with a new emphasis that will stimulate boys in and across the arts. “I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

be fulfilled, or be challenged to look beyond their comfort zone. Some boys come to College just because there is a celebration of Drama.” Some of our best senior productions are based on the back of the experience the boys get in junior productions. Les Misérables grew out of Lord of the Flies , the leads in Jesus Christ Superstar all performed in Holes and in Seussical . Most of the Evita cast cut their teeth on Treasure Island . And that is down to the teamwork of the performing arts staff. Pat O’Connor, Robyn Peers, Tommascita Edgerton, Tania McVicar, Wendy Duggan, Elizabeth Hartley, Mandy Dickie, Robert Aburn, Nick Coxon and, more recently, Nikki Bleyendaal, Nicholas Sutcliffe and Grant Bennett have all contributed to the opportunities for boys to perform. David says although he looks back on some “extraordinary highlights” regarding Scholarship, passion, and creative flair, he believes he’s most proud of the long-lasting effect on

Christ’s College Canterbury


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