Rocking back to school in Tauranga
If you’ve ever thought about ‘sticking it to the man’ but don’t have the courage, you can experience it through live theatre.
Otumoetai College are bringing the musical School of Rock to Tauranga this week.
The musical has been adapted from the movie of the same name and student Devan Esteyn is playing Dewey Finn, a struggling musician who impersonates a teacher and has an issue with authority.
It’s Devan’s first major production but the 16-year-old is pretty prepared for his leading role as he sings and plays guitar in his band and will be playing live on stage.
“I've kind of been thrown into the deep end, but it's been really fun. It's been a really cool experience.”
Rose Mould, who plays uptight principal Rosalie Mullins, says spending time with the cast is the best part of the production.
“This is probably the closest cast I've ever been in.” At 18, Rose has a few shows under her belt.
Fellow cast member Sydney Doake adds they hang out after rehearsals and head to Devan’s gigs.
Getting on well with each is important for the 49 cast members, seeing they’ve spent three months rehearsing and had scripts to learn over the summer holidays. There’s another 70 students involved in the band or behind the scenes.
Sydney plays the high achieving student Summer Hathaway and says although the musical is pretty similar to the movie you get to know the characters more and see their home life.
Rose says the show is for everyone; kids will enjoy it and parents will enjoy the classic rock element. It showcases 12 original songs and three from the movie, including ‘Stick it to the Man’. The band will play the music live for the show.
Sydney laughs that kids will take the song ‘Stick to the Man’ to their parents.
Teacher and director Petrina Chisholm says if people love the movie they will love the musical and it’s a fun and entertaining show.
She says they try to get as many students involved as possible in their biannual productions.
“It's an opportunity for them to experience what it's like in a real theatre, to put on a production because a lot of them don’t get that opportunity otherwise.”
Around 50 of the students also got a behind the scenes look at the New Zealand tour of Jersey Boys.
Former Otumoetai College student Matt Cranleigh is playing Bob Gaudio in the show and he organised a Q and A with the cast after the students had seen the performance.
Rose says the best advice they were given is to create friendships with the cast because it reflects on stage.
You can see the bond the three teens have formed as they laugh and joke with each about their roles and ham it up for the camera.
Otumoetai College’s performance is at Bay Court Performing Arts Centre from May 25 to 29.