The Showquest must go on

Issue: Volume 99, Number 9

Posted: 11 June 2020
Reference #: 1HA8De

Due to Covid-19, this year Showquest won’t be holding live events around Aotearoa – instead virtual regional events and a virtual national final will be held. But taking the much-loved performing arts showcase online has allowed organisers to broaden its scope and reach. 

Event director Matt Ealand says that while it was not feasible to offer Showquest as live events this year, the team felt strongly that the programme should be adapted into something young people could do. 

“We developed the idea of taking what students have done on stage and putting it on camera so people can watch online,” says Matt. 

“Naturally this does open up some complications because some schools are well resourced with state-of-the-art technology or parents who work in a creative industry. 

“So our approach is: this isn’t about who’s got the best gear, or is the most connected. This is ‘who has creative ideas and can relay those ideas well on a screen format’.”

Criteria change

“Our judges’ criteria will include looking beyond a nicely shot cinematographic shot – it will be based around what is possible for anyone if they were stuck at home,” he says. 

As well as filming a stage show, participants could go offstage and take more of a movie approach with different scenes and locations, or combine elements from on and off stage.

Other opportunities have also been developed that will tap into the elements of Showquest and offer creative opportunities to a wide range of students, no matter where they are located.

There will be online dance, photography, cooking and music competitions. Showquest also has a partnership with the World of Wearable Arts (WOW), who are keen to connect with and mentor young people. 

“We see the importance of having an outlet. Providing these young people that opportunity to still have that creative outlet has a positive outcome in terms of mental health and learning,” says Matt.

“We knew we had to provide something positive. Without a creative outlet, the wellbeing factor of our young people is severely impacted. If we can bring some familiarity back to young people’s world, hopefully that will be a positive outcome for them.” 

Positive feedback

Matt says that feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. 

“We see this as a really great opportunity to encompass more students within the event. While we have the tech elements within the traditional event on stage – we have a video wall – it’s only an optional part of the Showquest entry. 

“We’re very conscious of including the technology element to widen the opportunities for other students. 

“This is just a great opportunity for those kids to be involved and hopefully bring the school more together in creating a bit more excitement around what they are doing as a collective. Our great hope will be that while we’re limited to how many students can be on stage during the live events, this platform will allow many more students to play a part in the whole production.”  

Showquest(external link)

Creatives in Schools

The Creatives in Schools programme(external link) partners schools and kura with creatives. Applications for Creatives in Schools Round 2 will open late June 2020, with details to be updated on the Arts Online TKI website(external link).

Our recent Gazette article ‘Creative scheme enriches Banks Peninsula community(external link)’ outlines how Okains Bay School, one of 34 schools selected for the Creatives in Schools programme, enabled students to engage with local artisans and artists to explore the rich Māori and colonial history of their area.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 1:31 pm, 11 June 2020

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