Time for thought

Waipa Christian School students Ruben Hattingh, left, Phoebe Raine and Lucas Boyd will play King Xerxes, Esther and Mordecai respectively in the school’s upcoming production, For Such A Time As This.

“I don’t want people to just go home thinking, ‘I watched a nice production’. I’m actually hoping it speaks to our audiences – and even our students – and they all go home both encouraged and transformed.”

When Waipa Christian School’s production For Such A Time As This hits the stage in just under two weeks, that statement – director Madge Le Hane says – will be the foundational reason they’re putting it on.

“If I’m honest, I don’t just see our production as entertainment. To me, it’s really a Gospel message of the goodness of God in our lives, celebrating all that He has done and can do.”

Running over two daysat Te Awamutu Bible Chapel, with a noon matinee performance next  Wednesday and an evening  performance the following day, For Such A Time As This tells the story of the Old Testament account of the life of Esther,  the Jewish wife of Persian king Xerxes.

The Biblical text recounts how she and her cousin Mordecai persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jewish people throughout the empire.

Chosen by God for that task, Queen Esther goes before King Xerxes and is successful in her calling.

Madge said the Biblical narrative has strong themes of “destiny and calling”, and she hopes audiences will leave knowing they too are chosen by God for a unique purpose.

Madge has written the production herself, basing it on an animated children’s Bible story series called Super Book.

She’s even choreographed the music and dancing which features in the nearly hour-long show.

“A lot of my inspiration actually comes through music,” she said.

With a bit of a modern-day twist, For Such A Time As This begins with a missionary family returning from India to New Zealand.

Sitting down with their family and grandchildren, the production shifts from the missionaries telling modern-day stories of India to recounting the Biblical story of Esther to their family.

Madge said she first sat down to write the script for the whole-school production for the school’s nearly 90 students just prior to Christmas.

Rehearsals have subsequently been underway since term two.

“I’ve had a lot of fun as we’ve been preparing,” she said.

“I’ve loved being involved very much.”



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