Shakespeare takes centre stage

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Secondary school thespians took over Nayland College on Friday and Saturday in the name of Shakespeare.

During the weekend, over 150 students from around the region competed for a spot at nationals and the chance to audition for the National Shakespeare Schools Production.

Motueka High School, Nelson College for Girls, Garin College, Nayland College, Nelson College and Waimea College all performed classical shakespeare a modern twist.

Best 5 Minute Group went to Waimea College’s Adam Stewart and Sophie Deer whose conflict in Othello, Act five wowed the assessors, Gaelynne Pound and Laura Irish.

Meanwhile, Garin College’s Mid Summer Night’s Dream won the Best 15 Minute Group with their take on the second act, directed by their drama teacher, Daniel Allan.

The biggest award of the night, the National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP) Direct Entry went to Garrin student Zarek Wentzell who featured in All’s Well that Ends Well and The Taming of the Shrew.

Zarek will be one of 46 students who attend NSSP, a week of intensive workshops and performances, from which, 24 students will be selected to study in London at the home of Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre.

The Shakespeare Festival’s regional co-ordinator Rose Shepard says she is extremely happy with how the event went.

“It was really well attended and supported and all the schools involved had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

“The students love the festival, they love performing, the friendly atmosphere and that they can see students from other schools who are also doing a similar thing.”

Rose says the assessors, Gaelynne and Laura were very impressed and said the overall standard was exceptionally high.

“Nelson is pretty good for theatre at the moment, we’ve got some really good drama teachers here and we’re punching above our weight compared to the rest of New Zealand.”