All who have joined us for a Standouts holiday programme will no doubt know the fabulous talent that is Rebecca Elder.

Over the past 6 years Rebecca has given us many memorable characters such Ms Bad Fairy, Ms Trunchbull, Mrs Crumb and The Queen of Hearts. (Hmmm…are you beginning to see a pattern here?) We try not to type cast at Standouts, but it has to be said that Rebecca has always relished sinking her teeth into villianous roles. Says Rebecca: ‘If I get my way, I’m usually someone shouty and dramatic’.

And we all agree she plays shouty and dramatic with real finesse!

On lunch breaks during our holiday weeks Rebecca is most often found hogging the heater (in winter) and devouring a book (along with her sandwich)*

A voracious reader, avid writer and always bursting with creative ideas, Rebecca jumped at the suggestion that she write something for the Standouts stage and last January we staged her play Broomsticks.

Broomsticks is about a young witch who is kicked out of her coven and embarks on a perilous journey to prove herself. Rebecca’s sense of humour shine’s through in her script and we had a lot of fun with her quirky characters and pithy dialogue.

In between her studies (she has just survived Year 9 at Onslow College), Rebecca has continued her love of creative writing and this summer we look forward to producing her new play Save Our Story ( S.O.S).

It will be bittersweet for us as it will be the final Standouts holiday workshop that Rebecca performs in, but what better way to exit than to tread the boards in her own play.

I chatted to Rebecca about her time with us at Standouts and her new play Save our Story…..

G: Rebecca, exactly how many shows at Standouts have you been in now?

R: I’ve lost count, but I think around 32-38-ish? I’ve been in a lot.

G: I think it’s time we got you a special T-shirt printed, or perhaps a plaque?! In your opinion, what shows have stood out over the years?

R: They’ve all been amazing. A few recent favourites would have to be Spilt Milk by Claire Ahuriri and The Last Word by Christina Castling. But these are only the ones I can think of right now, I’ve had many other favourites over the years.

G: I did love you as Iris in Pond Life by Nettie Baskcomb Brown. She made quite a splash, didn’t she…

R: The costume was a thing of joy and beauty, though the headpiece was difficult to keep on my head. I loved getting to be all prissy and high maintenance, it’s always fun to play a character who’s a little mean or unlikable.

G: And a favourite from the Standouts songbook?

R: Charlotte’s version of Slice of Heaven (in which, I will admit I had a few solos) but it’s a kiwi classic and was fun to sing.

G: Rebecca, you’ve spent just about every school holiday over the past 6 years with us at St Judes in Lyall Bay. Didn’t you ever want to take a week off and have a holiday from us?!

R: No way! Standouts is first and foremost one of the most fun experiences of my life, and I’m so grateful to be so involved with it. Standouts has helped me with my dramatic skills; its helped me kick off my play-writing skills; and unbeknownst to me until recently, it has also helped me with memorizing lines. I’m in a drama class at high school at the moment and I’ve found that I’m one of the first to learn my lines because I have had so much practice.

G. Rebecca, you’re an invaluable and much loved member of Standouts. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to see you become such a confident performer and we are over the moon that you’re now writing your own plays – don’t stop!

* Rebecca will be succeeded by her sister Maggie who is next in line for the spot by the heater.