Heads Held High – A Podcast

Heads Held High is a dynamic and inspiring performance by 60 young leaders from South Auckland

On Tuesday 3rd July 2018, delegates of the International Drama in Education Research Institute were treated to a performance of Heads Held High, a production by Black Friars that brought together 60 young leaders from 9 South Auckland schools to re-story the world they live in and to show us what it really means to lead.

The podcast (9 minutes) below incorporates an explanation of the production, a soundscape of its songs and dialogue, as well as some audience responses and reactions.

Heads Held High was written by Denyce Su’a with Helen Tuitavake, Michelle Johansson, Billy Revell, Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu, Manu Vaea, Levi Horne, and Patrick Alesana, from stories collected in the schools of South Auckland.


This is War.
We wage our battles on many different war-grounds; we pick our weapons when we can.
These young warriors are working out what they’re fighting for.
AJ, Renee, and Chris are part of a blended family forced to move by the rising costs of living in Mangere. While AJ fights to keep food on the table, Rens works out what kind of warrior she wants to be. Simi and Alex grapple with questions of identity and what it means to be yourself.
Litia, the faife’au’s daughter, fights for the future she wants for herself.
Samisoni must figure out how to battle the school bullies as well as his own inner storm.
Fina calls us all to action and account.
Watch, as these young warriors show us what is meant to walk with

Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.