Education: Kristin School
CATS on the Kristin Stage
Over the last week the Kristin stage has come alive like never before with the mesmerising production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS. From the opening bars of Jellicle Cats, audiences were spellbound, sharing rapturous applause for solo after solo and joining in a standing ovation mid-show on opening night when Year 13 student Poppy Smithers sang the iconic song, Memory.
With an incredibly difficult musical score, CATS presented a big challenge for the 130-strong cast and crew. Preparations started early in the year and rehearsals were held daily for the three weeks leading up to opening night. Approximately 3000 people were witness to the production over its 5 day season, including 300 guests from local retirement villages and rest homes who were invited to attend a charity dress rehearsal.
The show’s producer, Executive Principal Peter Clague is immensely proud of everyone involved in the production. “This team have exceeded all of our expectations. The show has redefined what people can expect from a school production and it gives me great pleasure and pride to hear the
overwhelming response from our audience. It is a great feeling to know that we have risen to the challenge of being the first school in New Zealand to present this difficult and iconic show.”
The CATS cast and crew were not only faced with the challenge of pulling off one of the most well-loved musicals in the history of musical theatre, but they were also following in the very large footsteps of last year’s production team who took out the title of Best Overall Production at Auckland’s AMI Showdown Awards for Jesus Christ Superstar.
The show’s Director, Lorna Rood recognises what an amazing accomplishment CATS has been for everyone involved. “We have endeavoured to recreate the magic of the stunning original production and in doing so we have extended the talents of our young people - as well as our own skills and resources - to the limit. It has been uniquely and unequivocally challenging in direction, design, technical staging, music and choreography, and without the creative synergy and close bond that our core team shares, the talent of the cast, orchestra and crew and the skill and generosity of our superb parent helpers, we could not have achieved any of what was seen onstage this past week.”
The following comments were made on the Kristin School Facebook page:
“I had to keep pinching myself to remember that I was watching students not West End professionals! Congratulations on a stunning performance.”
“WOW what a show Kristin amazing cast with such talent. Truly sensational well done guys it was worth all the hard work :-)”
“This is a "must see" production. The standard of performance by all the cast is exceptional. Could have been watching a West End show!!“
Kristin Student accepted for Pacific Rim International Camp, Japan
Idris Jones, a Year 11 student from Kristin School has been selected to attend the 28th Pacific Rim International Camp in Japan thanks to a scholarship offered by Independent Schools New Zealand.
Idris will be the only New Zealand representative on the camp which brings together students from countries and regions around the Pacific Ocean including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
Based at the National Takato Youth Centre in Nagano, with pre and post-camp programmes in Tokyo and Yamanashi, Idris will spend two weeks in Japan, taking part in cultural and outdoor activities as well as a four-day homestay programme.
The aim of the camp is to promote cultural appreciation and international friendship through close interaction amongst the campers. Through the relationships formed at the camp, participants learn the importance of personal contribution in building a multinational society based on friendship.
The application process was an opportunity for students to identify their areas of interest on global issues, and to demonstrate what they could offer to the international student summit. In his essay, Idris identified a number of issues on which he felt strongly; “There are many global issues that should be discussed amongst the next generation but in my opinion the key areas include the need for an acceptance that resources should be shared, caring for the environment and for human beings to live a more selfless, less materialistic life… I believe modern technology can narrow our differences, enable us to freely communicate around the world, whilst still enabling us to savour our individual cultures”.
Idris will depart for Japan in August and is looking forward to all of the opportunities offered by the camp. “It is not just a break away from school, but a chance to share my culture, learn and understand others through actively taking part in the activities which could have some positive long-term effects on the international scene as well as initiatives to take back to my school community.”
Mitchell Smitheram - Debating for Auckland
After leading Kristin’s Premier Advanced debating team to the final in Auckland’s Regional Secondary Schools’ Debating competition earlier this year, Year 13 student Mitchell Smitheram has been selected to represent Auckland at the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships.
His selection for the Auckland team places Mitchell at the top of Kristin Debating as the first Kristin student to achieve to this level. He made the cut after a series of fantastic performances in the regional competition which won him the title of Speaker of the Tournament.
Up against a very talented King’s College team in the finals, Mitchell led Kristin Premier Advanced to argue the challenging moot, “This House would require people receiving the DPB to take medium term contraception”. It was a closely fought debate with the final adjudication split 3 – 2 in favour of their rivals.
Mitchell’s selection to the Auckland team is recognition of the talent, quick wit, hard work and leadership which he demonstrated throughout the Auckland competition. The calibre of debating shown from all teams during the season has been incredibly high and the event itself was the largest tournament the Auckland region has held.
Named as the second speaker in the Auckland team, Mitchell will travel to Wellington in August to compete in the national event.