On Friday 27th May, Stage Challenge took to Palmerston North’s Regent on Broadway with one night of epic, creative entertainment!

The mighty Manawatu is more than just good old Kiwi heartland, as the seven competing Stage Challenge schools brought youthful, creative flare to the stage and left the audience with some serious critical thinking to do!

Wanganui High School took out first place in the Open Division with their incredibly moving performance 29 Below, which shed light on the Pike River Mine Disaster – a recent, yet iconic, disaster in New Zealand’s history.

Not only did Wanganui High School make a huge impact on the audience, but on the night’s judges too, as Production Judge Del Costello said, “Wanganui had an extremely thoughtful and powerful perspective on this story – it blew me away!” With Damian Thorne adding, “Wanganui gave a strong, clever viewpoint of a very serious subject. The Pike River families would be so proud.”

The other schools that performed on the night contributed equally to the blockbuster event, as Horowhenua College steamed in at a close 2nd Place with their performance Think Twice, alongside Waiopehu College who placed 3rd with their theme Slender Hopes.


Horowhenua College. Photo: Quickpix.

Event Manager Hazel Reid supported this adding, “Palmerston North put on a brilliant night here at the Regent on Broadway where all the schools showcased their creativity and innovation. You can see all the hard work and determination that goes into their performances. Tonight’s show reflects how Stage Challenge is a great pathway for youth to creativity expresses themselves and their values.”

Manawatu might be known for their farming, pure green heartland and rolling hills, but after spending just one night in Palmerston North, we’re absolutely certain that dance, drama and design can also be added to that list! See you next time Palmy, it was a blast!

This year, Manawatu students conquered the Stage with their flare, excitement and creativity. Now it’s the rest of the North Island’s turn, as Stage Challenge continues its hot pursuit up the country!


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 www.stagechallenge.co.nz

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.