Every couple of years, students at Waiheke Primary School get the chance to put their creative skills into play—drama, dance and visual arts—by participating in a live performance. This year, they co-wrote a script with local children’s author Paul Mason called Back to the Waka.

For the past five weeks, pupils have been busily designing props, sets and costumes as well as working on their class performance pieces. Next Wednesday, 23 August, their efforts will come to fruition when Back to the Waka debuts at 7pm. A second performance will be held the following evening, also at 7pm.

Writers representing each year level were given the plot prompt of a time-travelling waka. From there, guided by Paul, the children wrote a script tying each class’s performance into the overall narrative.

“It was really inspiring to watch them work collaboratively, and to see the enjoyment they got from writing. The process was actually lots of fun, and the script we produced is a reflection of all their voices. It has a good sense of humour but also carries an underlying message of aroha and respect.”

Deputy principal Olive Campbell says the students are having a wonderful time developing their creative abilities. “It’s a special time to be able to work together as a whole kura, along with whanau members and teachers, to put on a fabulous performance.”

Tickets, available at the office, are $5 general admission and $3 for preschoolers. Premium tickets, in the two front rows, are $10 general admission and $3 for preschoolers. Refreshments will also be available. • Anna Ngo

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