We had hoped we would be in the clear and our senior production of Evita could go ahead as planned – but, as we remain at alert level 2, we have had to get creative to ensure the show can go on.
With strict limits on numbers allowed, we have had to restrict the size of the audience in the Assembly Hall and have therefore allocated priority seating to family members of the cast, crew and orchestra. This does not mean that other ticket holders will not be able to see the show, however, as we have set up several alternative venues at College, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School and The Piano, and Evita will be professionally live streamed to these locations.
While we are sorry not everyone will be able to see the live performance, we are delighted to be bringing Evita to Christchurch and grateful to have been given permission to live stream the production. I am in awe of how everyone has responded – their ability to pivot, adapt and adjust, meet the challenge of changed circumstances and find a solution – and, having had the pleasure of attending the dress rehearsal on Monday evening, can honestly say Evita is truly amazing, spectacular and superb. The cast, crew, orchestra and staff involved have put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort to create an exceptional production, and our support is their just reward. I hope you will take the opportunity to attend and invite you to see a preview of our live stream here.
There are life lessons in this. Perhaps this year more than any other we have come to realise that when we make plans nothing should be considered without some alternatives in mind, and never is anything set in stone. There is so much in life we don’t – and can’t – control. It is not only Evita, but also other College events and activities we have had to cancel or postpone, including having supporters at sports matches, combined concerts with other schools, our senior ball, and our Grandparents’ Day.
Despite all this to and fro, I have continued to be impressed by the boys. They have faced these challenges and just got on with the now, knowing the future must be approached with a flexible, adaptable disposition – and demonstrating, probably without even realising it, some of the key character attributes of our ideal College graduate. Knowing that much is beyond our control can be confronting, but it can also help us to refocus with clarity on what we can do to make the best of our current circumstances. To be present and purposeful is an acquired skill for many – and in recent weeks this has certainly been practised and enhanced for us all.
School life this year has been different – and, as we approach the end of term, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all College staff. No matter what their role, their continued focus on the best possible outcomes for the boys has been extraordinary. Teachers and non-teachers alike have been responsive and adaptable as administrative and NZQA expectations and weekly routines have changed. The needs of the programme have demanded new and innovative approaches along with reminders about getting things done and doing it right. I have been privileged to see these efforts result in some new approaches in so many areas of College life, all based on the warm and caring relationships developed with our boys.