In on the act

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A Wakatipu High drama teacher performing in a play next month has interesting links to both the director and three fellow actors.

Jake Hansen, who plays Rick in Remarkable Theatre’s production of multi-award-winning Away, is being directed by his former Otago University drama lecturer Lisa Warrington.

And he’ll be joined on stage by Year 13 Wakatipu High students Nina Johnston and Grete Johansson, who play Meg on alternate nights, and Isaiah Boniface, who plays Tom.

Warrington – Otago Uni’s recently-retired Associate Professor of Drama – says when she was invited to direct Away, she found out Hansen was living in Queenstown.

“That was brilliant so I immediately said, ‘great, Jake, you’re going to be in my play’.”

Hansen, who recalls Warrington “spiked” his interest in theatre at university, says: “I wouldn’t say Rick is a major role but it’s definitely one that ticks the play along, but just being a part of it and, especially walking the walk, it’s going to be quite fun.”

He’s also delighted to be performing as he was going to be in a Showbiz Queenstown musical that’s since been postponed.

While not directly teaching the high school trio, he directed Nina for a school play she appeared in last year, when he was a student teacher at the school, and helped Grete when she was rehearsing for this year’s school musical.

Warrington calls Away, by Aussie playwright Michael Gow, a very special play.

“It’s about three families going away on their summer holidays, but it’s really not about that at all.

“It’s about wonderful powers of redemption and saving each other and love and truth and all sorts of things.

“It’s also, by the way, very funny.”

Awayis being performed on September 12, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall; tickets from Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.

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