Nov. 9, 2020, 5:50 p.m.
Othello was more than a graduation production for Whangārei Girls' High School drama students, it was an opportunity to provoke thoughts and conversations.
The production is set in Vietnam in the 60s, and Othello is a Māori man serving in the war as a general. Paea Slade, who plays Othello says themes of jealousy, corruption, domestic violence and even suicide feature in the storyline.
The school's head of drama, Bill Walker rewrote and directed the production and says students agreed that the issues raised in the play affect communities not only in a post-war context but are also hidden issues in society today.
The Whangārei Girls' High School actresses play both male and female roles with some aspiring to further pursue careers in the arts, however, this doesn't come without challenges.
The arts, theatre and television are often hit hard where issues of funding and economy are concerned, despite the vital role the industry plays socially and culturally.
It is hoped that the new government places more value and investment into the industry.
For more on this story, watch the clip above.