Stage challenge cancellation devastates many   

The Nayland College crew practises for Break Out.

Devastation. That was the emotion felt by many students after it was announced that Stage Challenge would not be coming to Nelson in 2016. 

The Stage Challenge Foundation and J Rock pulled the plug on the spectacular. The event’s producer claimed that the cancellation was due to a lack of confidence in health and safety requirements and added costs to transport equipment from Christchurch.

Stage Challenge is a dance, drama and design spectacular held in 13 different venues around New Zealand. 200 schools take part and an average of 16,000 students perform. 

The production had been a well anticipated event for students in Nelson. The last time New Zealand’s largest youth performing arts event was in town was in 2013. The reason for the long wait this time was due to earth-quake strengthening in Trafalgar Centre. 

“I have literally been planning my idea for this year’s stage challenge for two years. We were preparing to have stage challenge last year but that didn’t happen so this year was going to be the year where all my previously planned ideas were going to come together,” Nayland College senior Alana James said.  She is one of many students in Nelson heavily impacted by the cancellation.

However, Nayland College would not let another cancellation stop them. The school will be putting on an alternative production on the 27th of May 2016 at 7pm called “Break Out” . This will include the main “stage challenge” entries from all four schools – Nayland, Motueka High School, Garin College and Waimea College – as well as additional dance performances from the participating schools. 

Nayland College has been fortunate enough to have gained support from the community and the Nelson City Council. Tickets will be $10 Adults and $5 Child. 

“I think it’s really fantastic! It was a real shame for everyone when it got cancelled,” Nayland College student Jaid Russ said.   “I’m glad that the dancers and everyone involved have another opportunity to perform something that has been widely anticipated since they started rehearsing.” 

By student reporter Orla O’Brien