Over the Top

A youth performance at IDIERI 9

“Over The Top, is an ANZAC play that presents a theatrical insight into the lives of nine young people who enlisted in WW1 in 1915 and explores the effect on their families left behind.

The stories of the six boy soldiers, Patrick, Jack, Edgar, Harry, Pura and Hoani and three girls Dora, Ruth and Madeleine enlisting as nurses, although fictional, are based on the stories of real families residing in Napier in 1915 – 1918.

First produced by The Drama Workshop for the centenary of Gallipoli in 2015, this re-write has been commissioned by HaBYT to tour Hawkes Bay, Christchurch, Brisbane, Auckland and Melbourne over 2017/2018.

The cast includes 13 young people from a number of diverse secondary school environments across Hawke’s Bay working alongside two adult actors.

The play uses sign language, spoken word, song, physical theatre and imagery to bring the stories to life.”


The production was performed for IDIERI 9 delegates in Auckland and you can listen to a soundscape (8 minutes) from the production here:


HaBYT [Hawke’s Bay Youth Theatre] is Hawke’s Bay’s own theatre training company for dedicated young theatre-makers aged from 15 to the early twenties. Since its inception, HaBYT has produced over 50 plays ranging from the classics to contemporary New Zealand theatre.

HaBYT’s aim is to teach advanced drama skills through its year-round programme of productions, workshops and exposure to professional theatre locally, nationally and internationally. Over the last two years HaBYT has toured to Australia connecting with schools and community theatre practitioners in a bid to reduce the tyranny of distance and narrow the gap created by the geographical limitation of being based in regional New Zealand! Admission to the training company is by audition.

Writer: Amanda Jackson
Director: Peter Cottrell
Choreographer: Champa Maciel

Laura Dean (Associate Director)
Laura is a keen advocate for the Arts in Education. A graduate of the Comparative and International Education MA program at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA, USA), Laura’s research interests revolve around how Arts subjects, and Theatre in particular, can play a crucial role to the development of a student’s social and emotional well-being, whilst bolstering their academic attainment. Having lived in numerous places around the world, and worked to support international students in a university setting, Laura is interested in supporting global Education policy. With an avid interest in Theatre & Performance, she is delighted to be bringing her two passions together to lead on Dialogue’s Community Performance for Education work.