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THE TRIBUNE, NOVEMBER 23, 2011
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Future director gets lucky in school
Learning the ropes: Josh Monaghan, 18, was one of only six people accepted into Toi Whakaari's Bachelor of Performing Arts Management degree
in Wellington next year.
Photo: WARWICK SMITH
By LAURA WALTERS
A Palmerston North student, whose
professional stage managing career
kicked off with a Wiggles show, is on
the right track to achieving his
dream of becoming a technical direc-
tor in London's West End.
Josh Monaghan has been
accepted into Toi Whakaari's Bach-
elor of Performing Arts Manage-
ment degree for 2012. The 18-year-
old's first professional gig was a
Wiggles show at the Regent on
It was really daunting,'' he said.
But as soon as you get your groove
Josh had since dedicated his
spare time to working on stage
crews in Palmerston North co-
ordinating lighting, sound, putting
up sets, and managing stage crews.
Theatre's pretty much taken
over my life,'' he said.
But his hard work has finally paid
off. He was one of only six applic-
ants to make it into the Wellington
performing arts school's three-year
After Josh's drama teacher at
Palmerston North Boys' High
School gave him the information
about Toi Whakaari's programme it
was all the 18-year-old wanted to
Since then I've been in love with
the school,'' he said.
The full-time course covers light-
ing, costume, sound, stage mech-
anics, and stage management.
The degree's hands-on approach
was what pulled Josh in.
But his experience working on
crews for school productions, and
professional shows was not enough
to secure him a place at the school.
Josh went to the school's open day
earlier in the year and then had to
go through a nerve-racking'' inter-
When that letter came through it
really was a relief,'' he said.
The year 13 student's ultimate
goal is to head back to Britain,
where he was born, and manage the
technical crew for shows in London's
West End. But for now he is happy
to take what work he can get.
Josh was offered a casual contract
with the Regent on Broadway and
has helped out with shows such as
Jesus Christ Superstar and 42nd
Unlike most teenagers, Josh loves
being called into work for extra jobs.
Being called up is one of my
favourite things... I post it on
Despite his recent work with pro-
fessional productions Josh's love of
working behind the scenes started
at high school where he worked on
the amateur productions of The
Wedding Singer, Blood Brothers,
Josh said boys' high's head of
drama, Chris Burton, and his
classmates had been a huge encour-
He is not worried about missing
out on the limelight given to the on-
I've never really been bothered
about what people think.'' When
something went wrong backstage,
and the crew fixed it without it
affecting the performance it was the
best feeling in the world'', he said.
Josh will move to Wellington at
the start of next year, but for now he
is concentrating on getting through
his NCEA level 3 exams, and work-
ing on the upcoming professional
ballet performances at the Regent
Sri Sathya celebration
Palmerston North is hosting the lower
North Island birthday celebrations of
India spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai
Baba on Sunday.
The Sri Sathya Sai Service Organis-
ation's central region alternates the
hosting of the celebrations between
Palmerston North, Wellington and
Lower Hutt. Sri Sathya Sai Baba was
born on November 23, 1926, and died
Celebrating the life and message of
Sri Sathya Sai Baba is on November
27, Queen Elizabeth College hall,
11am till 2pm.
The Sathya Sai Service Organisation
makes no distinction or discrimination
on the basis of religion, nationality,
colour or creed. People of many differ-
ent faiths and ethnic groups belong to
regional centres and share the pursuit
of seeking spiritual enrichment
through dedicating their time and
energies for the betterment of man-
kind, Palmerston North member
Veena Naicker said.
The fundamental objective of the
organisation, as laid down by Sri
Sathya Sai Baba, is to awaken in man
the awareness of the divinity inherent
This is done by propagating, through
practice and example, the principles of
truth, love, peace, right conduct and
The organisation's other major event
each year is Mother's Day, or Eash-
waramma -- remembering the kind
deeds done by the mother of Sri Sathya
For more information contact Veena
on 357 2261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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