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Success for drama class

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• Howick and Pakuranga Times

THEATRICAL HONOUR: Anton Bentley (centre) with his year 13 drama students who have been nominated for their performance of Vinegar Tom. Times photo Wayne Martin.

THEATRICAL HONOUR: Anton Bentley (centre) with his year 13 drama students who have been nominated for their performance of Vinegar Tom. Times photo Wayne Martin.

THEY are up for awards, but year 13 drama students remain modest about their prestigious nominations outside school.

The entire drama class at Botany Downs Secondary College has been nominated for the most outstanding musical or play in Auckland’s Showdown Awards for secondary school productions. The nomination follows their performance of Vinegar Tom, a play the students agree isn’t a usual school production.

“Because most schools do G-rated productions, I think they appreciated that Vinegar Tom was such a contrast to what audiences and judges usually see,” says cast member Alice Holly.

Erin Johnston adds: “We did our take on the play. It was really original and we were able to tell a story that was set a long time ago [in the 17th century] and relate it to the modern day.”

Class members have also scooped individual nominations for their roles, including:

• Daniel Cullum for best lead male actor in a play for Vinegar Tom, and best lead male actor in a musical for Cabaret.

• Rebecca Taylor for best supporting female actor – two nominations, one for Vinegar Tom, the other for Cabaret.

• Scott Russell for best supporting male actor, in Vinegar Tom.

Rebecca says playing a possessed character in Vinegar Tom may have helped her secure the nomination.

“There was a lot of screaming involved,” she laughs. “But it’s an honour just to be nominated.”

Scott will use the kudos that comes with his nomination – and fingers crossed, win – to help his applications for tertiary education scholarships.

“I’ve never been nominated for anything before,” says Scott. “I’m not really sure why I got it. I was actually pretty surprised.”

Daniel didn’t think about getting nominated and just had fun with both productions.

Everyone involved in Vinegar Tom worked collaboratively on cast decisions, and Louise Stables says her classmates chose roles they had never played in the past.

“It was about gaining acting experience and playing a role you wouldn’t usually get,” says Louise.

Teacher Anton Bentley says it has been a pleasure to watch the students grow theatrically and develop as actors over for the past four years.

“It’s a very proud moment for them to gain this recognition,” says Mr Bentley.

The Showdown Awards are on October 14 at Sky City Theatre and will be attended by the entire year 13 class and their families.