NATIONAL SHAKESPEARE SCHOOLS PRODUCTION 2016
30/09/2016 - 30/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 01/10/2016
All the World’s a Learning Space
Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) is delighted to present National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP) 2016 in Dunedin from 24 September 2016 to 2 October 2016 with valued practical assistance from the University of Otago.
“A heart-warming feature is the number of SGCNZ Alumni, who are at the University, live in Dunedin or are coming down specially from other parts of the country, to volunteer throughout the week,” commented SGCNZ CEO, Dawn Sanders.
Forty-six student actors and directors were selected from SGCNZ’s 23 Regional and National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals to participate in SGCNZ NSSP 2016. We will also have winners of SGCNZ/Tony Catford Shakespeare Costume Design Competition, Bruno Willis from Logan Park High School, and of SGCNZ/Morrison Music Trust Shakespeare Composition Competition, Sophie Campbell-Owen from Hagley Community College. Together, they will join the other student actors and directors, as Student Costumier and Student Composer respectively, in an eventful week full of prestigious workshops, intense rehearsals and eye-opening activities.
“I walked into this amazing experience having drama and reading Shakespeare as a hobby and I walked out being a Shakespeare and drama lion. This week of Shakespeare and drama has by far been one of the most amazing experiences of my whole life and I guarantee that I will cherish it for the remainder of my life,” so said Khorshed Tarapore, SGCNZ NSSP member 2015.
SGCNZ NSSP 2016 performances consist of 40 minutes from the following plays: Macbeth directed by Stuart Devenie, Julius Caesar directed by Colin Spicer and The Comedy of Errors directed by Kim Morgan.
The Public Performances will be held on 30 September 2016 at Maurice Joel Theatre, Otago Boys’ High School and 1 October 2016 at the College of Education Auditorium, University of Otago.
The week will not only test students’ knowledge in theatre, but their own understanding and interpretation of the world in which they live. Through continuous evaluation by the Directors and CEO during the course and further deliberations after it, 24 of the 48 students will be advised they have been selected as members of SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2017 and continue their journey to The Globe in London next July. There, they will tackle a rigorous two week training course with world-renown practitioners and director, and perform on The Globe’s stage at the end of the fortnight, before travelling on to Stratford Upon Avon for more Shakespeare related experiences.
This year SGCNZ is commemorating the death of William Shakespeare 400 years ago and celebrating the 25th year anniversary of SGCNZ. Dawn Sanders, founder and CEO of SGCNZ, states, “What a thrill to see so many of the 100,000 students who have gone through our Festivals since the first one in 1992, succeeding on stage and screen, in technical and behind the scenes roles, and in a myriad different occupations, drawing on the vast number of transferable skills gained from the experiences provided through SGCNZ and our activities.”
A message from Faith Perry, HOD Drama at Horowhenua College states: “Thank you so much for all of your encouragement over the years since I introduced the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival to this school. It has given our students a chance to excel both academically, in Drama, and also as the creative leaders and team players of tomorrow.” A Maori and a Samoan student have been selected from Horowhenua College to attend SGCNZ NSSP, as have others have previously. In their words, it is “life changing”!
SGCNZ is also grateful to the Southern Trust for its grant towards the expenses.
comprise 40 minutes from each of the three plays and are open to the public
Friday 30 September 2016 at 7:30pm /
Maurice Joel Theatre, Otago Boys’ High School /
Saturday 1 October 2016 at 7:30pm
College of Education Auditorium, University of Otago
Tickets: Adults $12 / $10 |
Concessions: Students/Children $6 / $5 Concessions
Youth , Theatre ,
Review by Hannah Molloy 01st Oct 2016
What a talented bunch of up and coming performers! The three-hour long Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ National Shakespeare Schools Production clearly demonstrates the depth of talent we have in this country – and they’re still in high school.
The production, of scenes from Macbeth, Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors, is a work in progress. The 48 students, selected from about 5,000 nationally, were cast five days before the show and had only five half days of rehearsals. For all the brief preparation time, the three plays are engaging, with moments of total immersion. Missing lines are dealt with professionally and with humour. The costuming, devised by Dunedin student Bruno Willis, is effective, with simple items indicating roles and personalities.
The production opens with Macbeth, with the naughtiest three witches slinking and clicking their fingers across the stage and generally causing mischief with very twinkly eyes and pert faces. I find some parts a little tricky to follow but the soliloquies are beautifully done. Lady Macbeth (both Lauren White and Sarina Towers) is delightfully conspiratorial and just a touch irritated with her husband’s over-thinking of everything.
The cast of Julius Caesar seems to have the most cohesion and sympathy with each other. There are more effects in this piece, with the cast making the sounds of a thunderstorm, and hissing and roaring as the moment calls for it. Acting styles are varied, ranging from laconic to frenzied, which I enjoy – it seems to give an extra layer to the drama, particularly as the cast members switch between roles, taking their own style (and a key piece of costume) with them to the new character.
The Comedy of Errors is fast and funny. The two sets of twins are each played by two sets of actors, adding to the general confusion but also to the laughs. There are quite a few missing lines in this piece but they are carried off with aplomb and charm – and with a lot of the dialogue fast and tongue-twisting, it’s not altogether surprising!
The production is rounded off with a traditional jig, New Zealand style. The company sings ‘When I Grow Up’ and ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, followed by ‘He Honore’ and finishes with a spectacular haka. Both my 12 year old guest and I feel the hairs rising on the back of our necks and our blood rushing.
With a couple more weeks of rehearsal and familiarity with each other, this company would be showing an incredible performance. They all look as though they are in their natural habitat on stage, and their flair for drama and entertaining is apparent in very individual ways.
New Zealand is so lucky with its creative talent. If only our government properly recognised and supported the immeasurable value these burgeoning creatives offer our country, its economy and its people’s well-being.
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Tragical historical comical
Review by Mike Crowl 01st Oct 2016
Bringing forty-eight secondary school students from around the country together for only a week to perform three extracts from Shakespeare’s plays takes some organising, but once again the Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ pulls it off.
A few months ago, thousands of young secondary school actors around New Zealand competed in 5 and 15-minute Shakespeare presentations. The group selected for the annual production has been in Dunedin for the last week working on theatre craft and learning lines and moves for three 45-minute performances. Around 15 of them appear in each extract, with professional directors producing the plays.
Each cast member gets the spotlight for long enough for their skills to be assessed by judges. (The chosen few will go to the Globe in London for further experience.) This can involve double or even triple casting of major roles – and some confusion for the audience! Because the extracts boil down lengthy plays into shorter time-spans, it helps if the audience already has some knowledge of the original play.
In this production of Macbeth, the witches not only speak their ugly prophecies but control events as they evolve. The conspirators in Julius Caesar passionately work themselves up to the famous assassination, only to find themselves undermined by Mark Antony’s equally famous speech. And lastly, the absurd mix-upsinvolving two sets of identical twins in The Comedy of Errors are given a twist by using girls for the men’s parts and boys for the two main female roles.
Wisely, director Stuart Devenie climaxes his production of Macbeth with the appearance of Banquo’s ghost at the Macbeths’ dinner party. While Macbeth stutters and stammers at a ghost no one else can see, his ever-sane wife calmly attempts to keep order. Laurin White and Sarina Towers, both playing Lady Macbeth, bring a stylish similarity to the role.
Colin Spicer’s Julius Caesar comes to a high point with Mark Antony’s rousing speech. Mark Antony is played by Tigerlily Perry, who appears to be feigning submission to the conspirators until given the chance to speak to the Roman public. Perry brings an excellent change in strength at that point. Caesar is also played by a female, Laurel Mitchell, and she brings considerable dignity to the role.
The assassination scene is brilliantly executed with streamers (as opposed to streams) of blood pouring from Caesar’s wounds. The ensemble work here is excellent, especially the detail in the background of many of the scenes.
In Comedy of Errors the use of girls for the twins, and boys for the two main female characters, is a nice twist that works well. Devin Gregory and Lachlan Crane are particularly energetic in playing roles originally written for men playing women (!). Eight girls play the two sets of twins, and all bring considerable robustness to the parts. Doubling the double sets of twins is a bit of an ask for the audience though: it makes identification of the characters just that much more difficult.
Overall the cast – who work superbly as a team – have a ball with this piece, and director Kim Morgan adds some hilarious mimed scenes to Shakespeare’s words. The music is wonderfully timed.
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