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Arts & Cultural News

EGGS/AGS Production of West Side Story

Shanaia & Lucy - Arts & Cultural Co-Leaders
Over this term Epsom Girls Grammar combined with
Auckland Boys Grammar in the annual production, West
Side Story; a rendition of Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet
set in the streets of 1950s New York city. This story, in it s
best form, shows the rivalry between two gangs, the Jets
and Sharks. In contrast to this confict, the timeless love
between the two leading characters Tony and Maria is
revealed, which in turn defes this battle. This incredible
show was held at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre from
the 14th to the 21st May, and had a successful sell out
over the season!

This wonderful masterpiece was put into motion
through the teamwork of the cast, crew and orchestra.
In the cast, a total of 41 talented individuals worked
together efortlessly during the shows to create the story
on stage for the audience to enjoy. All cast members
fourished over the performance week with incredible
work ethic and spirit, making the result in turn the
more spectacular. The crew made a great impact on the
show tremendously, both on and of the stage, with an
astounding amount of 90 people putting in their time
to achieve great results. The orchestra also shaped the
show to a lovely fnish, with their amazing correlation
of instruments. This consisted of 20 talented students
who strived to achieve the best possible interpretation
of Leonard Bernsteins most famous work. Together the
students constructed an amazing performance, which
was due to the consistent energy and ended with a great
end result.

Ex-EGGS student, Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge was the fabulous choreographer for the show. Her
beautiful choreography made both dancers and non-dancers alike look professional and entrancing
on stage. Through all the gruelling hours of focus dedicated to the actions and dances, the cast were
able to pull through, leaving the audience in awe of the show s slick and advanced movement. A big
thank you to Peter Thomas for the intricacy and detail he and his orchestra brought to the show. His
vast knowledge of Bernsteins work was a tremendous asset without which, the success of the show
would not have been possible.

Our vocal coach through the process was Virginia Le Cren. Virginia has had years of stage experience
which greatly benefted the cast when not only learning our distinct parts, but also when learning
how to perform them convincingly through our characters. We were also lucky enough to have
another ex-EGGS student Olivia Hadlow join the production team. Olivia graduated from EGGS in
2014 and it was amazing to have her helping the cast with their characterisation as the Assistant

The show would not have been possible if it weren t for the motivation and support of the stunning
director Anna Richardson. Her fresh ideas left the audience enraptured in a world of excitement and
emotion. Anna loved taking on the challenging role as Director, and would no doubt do it again
another day.

All of this hard work conveyed through the team, has shone through the performance season, with viewers leaving the theatre in want of
another taste. The production family should defnitely be proud of the fne result they've left within the Arts and Culture area of both schools!
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