Hero photograph
MAC Alumni students writing and producing the work
Photo by Mount Aspiring College


Emily McRae —

The Performing Arts Departments are delighted to have rehearsals underway for “Elephant Talk” with a fabulous crew of Year 9-13 students. The show will be part of the Wānaka Festival of Colour Programme from 27 March till 1 April. In 2021 many brave students workshopped with past alumni students of the college in order for them to write the script. These past students have all been part of our performing arts programmes and performers in previous community show’s for Festival of Colour such as “Permission to Speak" by Fiona Armstrong and Jonathan James in 2019, and “Like There is No Tomorrow” by Playground Collective in 2013. 

The senior music class is also on board and currently creating original songs for the work. It is heartwarming to have past students giving back to nurture and inspire our current students to develop work relevant to them in their time and place. We also welcome back past Drama and Music teacher Anna Shaw in co-direction with myself and Mat Doyle as Music Director. This is original work by youth for youth and our local community.

The show concept seeks to explore and “normalise” for young people the awkwardness of everyday life. Life often presents daily collisions of unease and shame yet we stoically pretend they didn’t happen and we definitely don’t talk about them. The show allows conversations between friends to be observed in all their clanging awkwardness as you try to make your way into a fundraising concert. In between moments you will plug into a playlist of original songs on your device and ponder the importance of those vulnerable conversations. Moments that are at times amusing, and at others poignant, will remind us all that true connection is only possible when we are beside each other bungling our way through life.

Emily McRae


Tickets are available now at https://www.festivalofcolour.co.nz/programme/elephant-talk