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Education: Kristin School

Peter Pan takes Flight for New Zealand Premiere

Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Robbie Williams and Kristin’s cast of Peter Pan have one thing in common – come April, they will have all taken to the skies with the help of Flying by Foy, the most widely-respected theatrical flying service in the world.

Kristin School is renowned for producing top quality musical productions. It is this reputation that has earned the school the rights to the New Zealand Premiere of Peter Pan and while the bar is set incredibly high for the cast and crew, nothing could prepare audiences for what’s in store when the show opens in April. The Kristin stage will be the backdrop to the most technically ambitious production ever undertaken by the school and all of the magic of Neverland will come alive – with flying.

International experts Flying by Foy have been brought in to work with the production team and cast members are preparing for the stage experience of their life. Flying Director Stephen Barber visited the team in March to conduct initial setup tests and begin the process of choreographing the elaborate technical elements of the show.

For over 55 years Flying by Foy have pioneered the use of innovative techniques and patented mechanical inventions to revolutionise theatrical flight. They created the magic of Willy Wonka’s Bubble Machine, were responsible for Lady Gaga’s iconic performance above the crowd at the 2010 MTV VMA’s and were behind Robbie Williams’ memorable flight over Mt Smart Stadium during his New Zealand tour.

While large scale productions in New Zealand’s biggest theatres and stadiums have seen this level of technology before, this will be the first time something of this scale has been done in a school setting. The show’s Director, Mrs Lorna Rood, is confident that by consulting with the world’s leading experts the magical illusion of effortless and dynamic flight will be achieved while still paying absolute attention to the safety of the cast.

These technical scenes are only one part of the magic, however. The award-winning music score by Stiles and Drewe - the creative duo behind the recent Mary Poppins tour – and the compelling characters of Sir James Barrie’s much-loved tale will combine to capture the imagination of audience members of all ages. Such an ambitious show is only made possible thanks to the incredible support that the North Shore community offers the Kristin Performing Arts programme. Kristin’s major productions are entirely funded by ticket sales, and the school’s 1200-seater Auditorium is regularly sold out for big events such as this. For everyone connected to the school’s Performing Arts programme, this is one of the things that make the Arts at Kristin unique.

“To be able to offer such high calibre performance opportunities to our students is a source of great pride for our school,” said the show’s Producer and Executive Principal Peter Clague. “In the last few years we have put on Jesus Christ Superstar (2011) and Cats (2012), and each was more demanding than the last. This year I have every belief that Peter Pan will redefine what an audience can expect from a school production.”

Tickets for Peter Pan are on sale now at

Artful Intelligence

The Auckland Art Festival’s White Night had a fun new twist this year with the addition of a competitive robotics display in the Remuera Library, hosted by Kristin’s K-Force Robotics team.

Presenting ‘Artful Intelligence – the Art and Science of Robots’, K-Force showcased their custom made robots alongside creative works by Jeff Thomson, Peter Roche, Victoria Bell, Corrina Hoseason, Enuake Sirikige, Paul Radford, Kristin Perrett, Iain Cheesman, Chris Hargreaves, Mia Straka, Jarad Bryant, Simon Oosterdijk, artist rugs by Dilana Workshop, the dancers of SABA Young Ballet, The Experimental Bakery, and The Electric Boutique.

Ranked amongst the top secondary school teams in New Zealand, Kristin’s K-Force competitors regularly feature on the podium at national and international events. Team Captain Christian Silver (Year 12) was on the team that won the Judges Award and World Title at the 2010 World Championships in the USA.  He was only 13 at the time and this year Christian will return to the States to challenge for the 2013 World Title in Los Angeles with Year 13 teammate Lingshu Liu. The pair has qualified for the World’s after winning the Excellence and Invent Awards at the Asia Pacific VEX Robotics Championships last year.

Competitive robotics is a growing global movement, designed to inspire and engage the next generation of world leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Innovation, collaboration, creativity and competition are the foundation for VEX Robotics which, through the process of design and development, sees custom-built robots going head to head, testing the limits of the design teams’ skill, ingenuity and imagination.

White Night is a worldwide celebration of the contemporary arts, held in 23 cultural capitals of the world since 2001. The event brought together the inspiring work of acclaimed New Zealand artists from a diverse range of artistic activities, including the visual and applied arts, performance, design, digital film, food, live music, and the science, technology and experimental fields.

Joining K-Force in the battle for White Night were teams from Onehunga High School, Auckland Homeschool and Lynfield College.

Kristin Family Picnic

For the first time in several years there was no threat of rain to dampen spirits at this year’s Kristin Family Picnic. A crowd of almost 700 gathered on the school fields for a festive evening of family fun. Picnic tables and rugs were laid with homemade treats, and the many food stalls did a roaring trade in dumplings, sausages and sweet treats.

The Middle School’s Spooky House was a huge hit, and the inflatable obstacle course, extreme slide, go-karts and vertical bungee were hot favourites with the crowds of students of all ages. Meanwhile, an array of musical entertainment was on offer by students for those who preferred to relax in the evening sunshine with friends. A major fundraising event for the many student-led groups within the school, the Family Picnic is one of the best opportunities for students to promote their cause and gain support from those outside of their class circle.

Across the board the fundraising initiatives were a huge success and, thanks to the generous backing of the Kristin community, the sports teams, clubs and service groups who were championing their cause raised over $5000 collectively, setting them a big step closer to their individual goals.

This would not have been possible without the many families who contributed delectable homemade dishes for the various fundraising stalls or those who gave their time to run the stalls while others enjoyed the sunshine. The strength of a school’s community reflects the spirit and dedication of its members, so it was only fitting that this year’s Family Picnic marked 40 years of Kristin, a school founded on these very principles of family and community. Anniversary celebrations continued at the Foundation Day Assembly, details of which will feature in next month’s Channel.

by Channel Editorial