By John Lewis (ODT) | Posted: Tuesday October 1, 2019
Congratulations to our Park Players drama team and their playwright and director, Diane Dupres who competed in the South Island and National Theatre Fest competition in September.
They won the South Islands and also won the Best Ensemble Award at the Nationals.
See the Otago Daily Times article below:
A Dunedin play dealing with youth issues - such as isolation of young people, thoughtless words, social media, self-harm and New Zealand's drinking culture - has been selected for performance at the New Zealand TheatreFest finals in Wellington.
The one-act play, called Cut, was written and directed by Logan Park High School head of drama Diane Dupres and performed for the first time at the Otago TheatreFest last month by five drama pupils from the school.
Ms Dupres said inspiration for the play came from watching young people "stumble'' in what was essentially an adult environment, where they received little support.
The play was about what it is like to be a teenager today, and all the issues that teenagers have to navigate around.
"It deals with a range of quite difficult themes, and this was something I worked quite closely with the school.
"It looks at loneliness, isolation, shame, a bit of the drinking culture, online behaviour, how to deal with difficult issues, and one of the characters self-harms.
"During the play, we look at the thoughtless words, the jokes and the theme of parental non-involvement.
"I think for me, as a parent, as a teacher and as a writer, it was an opportunity to show how much our young people need us to hold their hand while they negotiate these very difficult worlds.''
Ms Dupres said following the Otago regional event, the judges gave advice on how to improve the play.
"We got the feedback and, to be honest, I was absolutely ripped apart - and it was fantastic.
"The critical analysis was so deep and so helpful.''
She said the professional advice had allowed her to go back, rewrite the play and make it even more influential for audiences.
The reworked version of the play was recently performed by the pupils again at the South Island TheatreFest final in Timaru, where it won the best overall production award.
The judges were so impressed with the edited version, the play and its cast were selected to perform again in the national final on September 15.
Ms Dupres was delighted with the selection, especially because the cast was competing against adult actors at the South Island final.