NASDA Crusades Against Drink Driving

NASDA Crusades Against Drink Driving

Five graduates from CPIT’s National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) began rehearsing this week for a four-week tour that could include all of Canterbury’s secondary schools.

Christchurch City Council approached Head of NASDA Richard Marrett for a fresh take on their Crash Bash campaign, which has run for 17 years. With assistance from Students Against Drink Driving (SADD) and New Zealand Police, NASDA developed a multi-media show that will give students strategies for keeping themselves safe in tricky, real-life situations.

 New message for young drivers

“Young people are so used to hearing the messages that will protect them, but theatre is a creative vehicle for capturing their attention and engaging them. The cast is young and the fact that they are great actors and singers means the audience will be hooked by the performance, which then comes with a big message,” Richard said.

The five performers met victims of drink driving related accidents and will use the experience to make their performances as powerful and relevant as possible. Footage of victims will also feature in Stand Up, which promotes the new message: Zero Tolerance. NASDA’s Ross McKellar will direct Stand Up, bringing years of experience of education in schools to the project.

Competition for powerful concepts

Students inspired by Stand Up to craft their own anti-drink driving messages can submit a DVD concept using dance and movement, music and acting. The winner gets $1000 for their school and the chance to workshop their concept with the NASDA crew for the 2013 Crash Bash production. 

NASDA graduates in demand

Young actors are in demand for performance in schools projects like Crash Bash, Richard said. “There are five education-oriented companies that we supply with graduates to here and in Australia in this field.” Richard also hopes the project will increase awareness of NASDA locally. “Our students come from around the country but we would like to make sure we are capturing local talent too.”

Gary Miller, Lana MacFarlane, Liam Taylor and Monica Hope perform Stand Up with Emma Cusdin as production manager and NASDA’s Ross McKellar directing.

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