McGlashan's talented current and former performing arts students shine at the Dunedin Fringe Festival! 🌟✨

Thursday 14th March 2024

The Dunedin Fringe Festival is the second largest in Aotearoa and runs from the 14th to the 24th of March. It is an annual 11-day multidisciplinary arts festival which values any form of expression. Dunedin Fringe provides a platform for new, innovative and experimental art that helps nurture communities, and supports the work of emerging artists.

We have a number of accomplished current and ex-students involved as creatives in the Dunedin Fringe Festival this year, including:

Tama Alexander

Ex-McGlashan drama students Sam Leaper and Tama Alexander, with Drama teacher Ms Fridd, before the opening night of Tama's stand-up show, Breatha. — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

Tama's new show, Breatha played to a packed out Playhouse Theatre energetic audience on its opening night. There were also loads of McGlashan old boys in the audience, which was great to see.

As one of New Zealand's youngest professional stand-up comedians, he is really getting noticed all over the country, for "combining cutting sardonic humour with musical theatricality". The Otago Daily Times featured an article on Tama last week and you can read it here.

Tama has moved to Ōtautahi Christchurch to take up a full time position working at the Christchurch Comedy Club, putting his studies on pause for a while. 

Link to Tama's show: Breatha. 

Samuel Leaper

JMC Old Boy, Samuel Leaper. — Image by: Musical Theatre Dunedin

Old Boy, Samuel Leaper (one of the inaugural recipients of the Six 60 Music Scholarship) was also working on Tama's show as a Techie, on the Lighting and Sound Board. Samuel is hugely in demand all over the city doing sound engineering, while also being a musician, and playing in the popular Dunedin band, Black Sale House 

James Mustapic

Old Boy James Mustapic won $100,000 for his chosen charity, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, in the final of Celebrity Treasure Island 2023. — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

James has been busy! Not only is he bringing a brand new standup show to Ōtepoti next weekend, but he also has a new TV show out on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+ right now. James Mustapic helps his mum cannonball back into the dating pool, dishing out advice, roping in Kiwi celebs and advertising her online in hope of finding the father he's always wanted.

James' new show - "James Must-a-pic His Mum a Man", on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+ now. — Image by: TVNZ

The winner of Celebrity Treasure Island 2023, James is back in Dunedin with a brand new stand-up show next weekend.

James Mustapic has many enemies, and it's time to show them all that they musta-picked the wrong guy to mess with! Join the winner of NZ Celebrity Treasure Island 2023 (and probably his mum Janet) for a brand new hour of multi-media stand-up comedy that will leave you thinking "I mustapicked the right show to go along to this Dunedin Fringe Festival!".

Link to James' show: You Mustapicked the Wrong Guy to Mess With

James Mustapic and Tama Alexander are also involved in several other events, including the a comedy game show and Stand up Comedy late night shows. 

Image by: Dunedin Fringe Festival

Ariana Gepte

Ari Gepte - former Drama student of John McGlashan College — Image by: Musical Theatre Dunedin

Ariana Gepte (older sister of 2023 graduate, Eli Gepte) is playing Zazzalil in Musical Theatre Dunedin's production of Firebringer. Ari was in Ms Fridd's Year 12 and 13 drama classes a couple of years ago and stood out as a talented and engaging performer. 

Ariana feels incredibly privileged to be back onstage working with MTD for the New Zealand premiere of Starkid’s Firebringer. Ariana’s journey with dance began at the age of three, igniting a passion for performing arts that has remained unwavering throughout her life. During her time at school, Ariana was heavily involved with productions, choir, orchestra as well as leading a dance troupe. Over the last few years, Ariana has been studying towards her Bachelor of Performing Arts with a specialization in Musical Theatre at the University of Otago, a journey she is set to complete at the end of this semester! She has also been singing under the tutelage of Beth Waite at the Voice Lab since 2020. Throughout her studies, Ariana has performed in various shows in Dunedin and the Otago region. Her most recent performance was as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical (Musical Theatre Dunedin). Other recent performance credits include: Hully in the 128th Capping Show, Doc in the 129th Capping Show (OUSA, University of Otago), Mona/Roxie Hart understudy in Chicago (East Otago Musical Theatre) and BV in The Highlights (ShowBiz Dunedin). Last year, Ariana choreographed the 129th Capping Show - Back to the Flat and will resume her role for this year’s show! She is ecstatic to be working with such a talented cast, crew and creative team and would like to thank those who have supported her inside and outside of the show! -- MTD Dunedin.

Link to the show Firebringer

Alice Johnston

Alice Johnston - current Year 13 drama student at John McGlashan College — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

Alice is currently one of our talented drama students in the Year 13 class. She also sings and has been heavily involved in Musical Theatre. Last year she had one of the lead roles in the Columba College Major Production of Mamma Mia, playing the hilarious character of Tanya. She has shown herself to be a versatile and engaging performer. 

Stand Up, Stand Out - Teen Comedy School Showcase is presented by: Harriet Moir and MC'd by our very own old boy, James Mustapic. The showcase is the culmination of the week-long Comedy School for Teens. Eight emerging teen comedians test their chops in front of an audience for the first time.

The school is a series of workshops, 1:1 coaching and a performance showcase for 13- 17 year olds that is designed to encourage and educate a new generation in the art of stand up comedy. The school runs throughout the week of Dunedin Fringe and culminates in this final performance showcase. There are two workshops dedicated to crafting existing thoughts and material into a 4 minute set and a third workshop that focuses on stagecraft, delivery and mic technique in preparation for this final performance showcase. Additionally, each of the eight participants get a 1:1 coaching session with a visiting, experienced and professional comedian. We're excited that some big names in comedy agreed to come onboard!

Come and support these incredible comedy voices of tomorrow in their Stand Up, Stand Out - Teen Comedy School Showcase. Who knows? Maybe the next big name in comedy will be making their debut at this show!

Link to: Stand Up, Stand Out- Teen Comedy School Showcase  

For more information on Dunedin Fringe Festival, head to:  Get out there and get supporting creatives from all over Aotearoa!