Last Wednesday, Stage Challenge kicked off in Invercargill, with some of Southland’s youngest, brightest and most creative minds stepping up-to the stage, beginning what’s set to be a stellar nationwide tour of creativity and expression.

Invercargill’s Civic Theatre witnessed Verdon College bring the passion and energy to the stage, as they took home ‘1st Place in the Open Division’ with their incredible performance, No Place Like Home.

Verdon College explored the topic of refugees. As of December 2015, 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence. “Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity for people who have lost everything”, in the words of UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Verdon College made an emotional statement with this issue, as the refugee crisis hits the hearts of many people throughout New Zealand and abroad.

Performance Judge, Ella Mackie, said “Their performance made you feel like you took the journey with them. There were so many emotions expressed flawlessly. It was a very moving and spectacular performance!”

James Hargest College came a close second with their performance, Hargie’s Toy Shop, while Southland Girls’ High School picked up an impressive 3rd place with Anne Frank, as all of the performing schools showcased genuine talent and the ability to truly move an audience through dance, drama and design.

Next up, Stage Challenge & J Rock will head to Christchurch on the 17th and 18th of May, where Horncastle Arena will host two huge nights of epic entertainment! Stage Challenge will then venture further north, where they will make a highly anticipated return to New Plymouth’s TSB Showplace on Monday 23rd May.


Don’t miss the 2016 Stage Challenge touring this May and June! To find out more information and for this year’s show dates, head along to

Stage Challenge® involves dancers, actors, performers, lighting liaisons, teachers, set and design crew and make-up teams. There’s an opportunity for everyone of all different backgrounds to let their talent shine on and off the stage.