In September, secondary schools around Dunedin gathered together to celebrate the inaugural New Zealand Theatre Month, to fundraise for the Hope Centre - a branch of the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. Following the closure of the Fortune Theatre, we realised the arts had to be pushed in Dunedin, now more than ever.
The event was a culmination of months of hard work and organisation. We managed to involve seven Dunedin secondary schools, including St Hilda’s Collegiate School, Otago Boys’ High School, Otago Girls’ High School, King’s High School, Queen's High School, and Logan Park High School.
We saw many breathtaking performances, such as the OBHS and OGHS combined Kapa Haka group, Waiora, Amnesia, Niu Sila, Daughters of Heaven, as well as some original devised work. Shannon Colbert, the Schools Liaison for OAR FM, spoke on the night, explaining the importance of the arts in society. This showcase demonstrated not only a strong talent within this sector but also the passion and dedication for the arts within many peoples lives.
Despite a disappointing turnout on the night, over $1000.00 was raised for the Hope Centre (Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust). It was unfortunate to see so few people attend the event. Some may see the performing arts as a 'soft option', but for others, it is a lifeline and brings hope.
We hope to see the profile of the arts lifted in future years, however, cooperation from everyone in our community is needed for this to happen. Being a well-rounded student doesn’t just mean involving yourself in academic and sporting engagements, but also involving yourself in the arts and culture.
Special thanks to:
- Otago Boys’ High School for the use of their spectacular auditorium for our collaborative school event
- Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature (Nicky Page)
- Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust