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A Note from the Principal

Nga mihi, greetings,

Theatre – the ultimate team sport


Okay, so we’re all excited about the Commonwealth Games, the Crusaders have made their umpteenth Super Rugby final and the latest All Blacks team has just been announced. 

Well, I hate to burst your sports crazy bubble, but there is a much older and grander team sport out there, a sport where the players put more than just their bodies on the line, where the victories are more sublime, the defeats more excruciating and your team mates can, in a flash, become your fiercest opponents. 

I’m talking about theatre. 

The average kiwi rates speaking in public as the most terrifying thing imaginable, and they’re right.  On the sports field you can keep your head down, show the occasional flash of brilliance and have a breather out the back without a lot of bother.  On the stage, by contrast, there’s nowhere to hide, you rely absolutely on your teammates to make you look good (and they can make you look very bad) and you don’t wear just a uniform but a complete – and completely different – character. 

Look at it this way – the ancient Greeks invented both theatre and sport (at least in the Western tradition), but if you poke around Greek ruins you’ll notice a lot more theatres than sports grounds and their major sporting event – the Olympics – was held only every four years while the theatres were open all the time and attracted the biggest crowds.

This term at Wakefield School we’re celebrating the ultimate team sport with our Matai syndicate production, Once Upon a Fairytale.  If you have a child in years 1 – 3 (with the exception of the year 3 children in Totara Tahi) your child is at this moment transforming him or herself into a billy goat, bear, troll, fairy, gingerbread man or one of a hundred other characters.  What they’re learning is enormous: think of all the skills of the sports field and add public speaking, reading, writing, art, singing and dancing.  It’s a complete learning package and it finishes with the ultimate exam – a live performance. 


(Of course, you may disagree with me about the ultimate team sport.  What’s yours?  Email me now, I have chocolate fish for the first five answers – if they’re convincing!)


Have a great week.

Peter Verstappen



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