Raglan actors make the cut

Raglan Area School theatresports students have been thrown into the limelight with a win at the Waikato Secondary School Theatresports competition.

Led by teacher/coach Ruth Hare, the year 9 and 10 students – Jack and Sasha Kirkwood, Mason Swann and Connor Marquand – used all their thespian skills to come out tops over 12 other junior teams from across the Waikato.

“This is the first time Raglan has entered the competition so we are thrilled with their success,” Ruth says. 

“The team brought together different strengths that worked really well together.”

A form of improvisational theatre where teams battle it out in a series of rounds, the competition put the four young actors through their paces with the audience and judges throwing curveballs throughout the various performances.

Only introduced as a subject choice last year to Raglan Area School, drama is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, Ruth says, and this year it is offered for the first time at NCEA level.

“Drama is great for building confidence and creativity, and Raglan students are awesome to work with,” she says.

Raglan Area School deputy principal Bronwyn Haitana says they are incredibly lucky to have someone of Ruth’s calibre teaching drama at the school.

“Ruth has been an integral part of enhancing our school culture by introducing performing arts and doing it with so much passion. She has created an epidemic which is inspiring.”

As a seasoned theatre actor who moved into teaching, Ruth says it was a natural progression for her to share her acting passion with young people.

Ruth recently directed the year 9, 10 and 11 drama students who performed two plays at the town hall, which were both funny and thought-provoking.

And as the students grow in confidence, she is looking forward to this evening of plays becoming an annual event.

She has successfully built the Raglan Theatre Academy since 2008 when it started as Dramatrix and they are currently preparing for their annual production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Janine Jackson