Intermediate students from around New Zealand are being asked to put pen to paper in a unique bid to help fight poverty in the developing world via an innovative scriptwriting challenge.
ChildFund New Zealand has announced ‘Pens Against Poverty: ChildFund’s Young Playwrights Challenge’ which offers year 6, 7 and 8 students the opportunity to hone their literacy skills while helping raise awareness for a good cause. Participating students will gain valuable insight in to scriptwriting from actor, playwright, director and ChildFund Ambassador, Alison Quigan, who has set the scriptwriting criteria. The winning school receives expert guidance from across New Zealand’s drama fraternity as their script is developed into a play for the professional stage.
The initiative comes from the success of ChildFund’s recently published children’s book, Mary’s Christmas Yarn, a warm-hearted tale of giving to those in need, penned by 10 of New Zealand’s best known storytellers. The book is to be used as the basis for the scripts submitted to the challenge.
Senior primary and intermediate schools nationwide have until 30 April to submit their best scripts and see if they have what it takes to craft a script worthy of the stage.
The top five scripts will be selected in May by a panel of expert judges, with each finalist school getting the opportunity to perform an excerpt from their script live to one of the judges and receive their professional critique. The overall winning script will have the honour of being transformed into a professional production, staged by an Auckland drama group, with a musical score developed by students from a secondary school.
ChildFund CEO Paul Brown believes ‘Pens Against Poverty’ is the first collaboration of its kind, providing a unique, real-life learning opportunity useful in meeting curriculum requirements for literacy in the classroom.