New play celebrates differences

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A new play aims to celebrate difference at Christmas while bringing young people together. A Kiwi Caravan Christmas tells the story of the Reihana family of New Zealand and the Morrison family of England.

The two families discover more about each other as they recognise they have different traditions.

The cast features pupils from years 7 to 10 from across the region.
Dunstan High School drama teacher Nick Meissel said the aim of the play was to create positive transitions by bringing together senior pupils from primary schools and junior pupils from the high school.

Having the pupils ‘‘meet together and work on something fun’’ created an icebreaker for young pupils who would be coming to Dunstan High School next year and the following year.

Rehearsing and interacting with older pupils enabled them to have one or two ‘‘friendly faces’’ when they began at the high school, he said.
Another aim was to provide a theatre project for pupils aged 10-14 that sometimes had fewer theatre options.

‘‘We’ve got a lot for the younger kids and we’ve got more for the older kids,’’ Mr Meissel said.

The play was written especially for this project by The Terrace Primary School teacher Rachel Petrie.
‘‘She is an excellent writer,’’ Mr Meissel said.

Set against a backdrop of camper vans and motorhomes, the play was a ‘‘fun, light­hearted culture clash between southern and northern hemispheres’’ that explored how people could be kind and accepting of different traditions.

A free performance of the play will take place on Wednesday, December 4, at 6pm in Centennial Park, opposite Linger and Die.

The family event will also include a sausage sizzle and ice blocks.
‘‘It is a nice opportunity for families to come, put a picnic blanket down,’’ Mr Meissel said.