Shakespeare Festival 2019
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” - Hamlet
While some people think of Shakespeare’s work as difficult and intimidating, many of Kristin’s students, led by Mrs Sykes and Miss Johnston, spent Term 1 of 2019 thinking of the wonderful challenges presented by the work and embracing all things Shakespearean.
Early in the term, Drama students attended a very enjoyable performance of Hamlet at the Pop-up Globe, managing to get seats in one of the most coveted sections of the theatre (picture 4) and being thrilled by the stagecraft that brought ghosts, unforgettable characters and sword fights to life in front of them. Enthused by this experience, a group of 24 dedicated Middle and Senior School students then created, rehearsed and presented scenes from a range of Shakespeare’s plays at the West Auckland Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival, hosted in our own Dove Theatre.
On 1 and 2 April, those students and many others from a number of schools around Auckland performed 5- and 15-minute scenes from a wide variety of Shakespeare’s plays. A total of 32 scenes were presented over the two nights of the Festival, and audiences were treated to a wide range of funny, sad, powerful and thought-provoking performances,
At the awards ceremony after the final performance, assessors Ben Henson and Rita Stone commented on the quality of all of the performances and performers they had seen, before announcing a number of awards.
It was thrilling to find that students (and staff) from Kristin had gained the following awards:
Best Stage Design - Julius Caesar, Kristin School
Best Communication with the Audience - Isla Sangl, Kristin School
Most Promising Actor - Tim Gunn, Kristin School
Best Non-Student Director - Miss Tessa Johnston, Kristin School
Even more exciting, we then learned that our 5-minute Julius Caesar scene - performed by Theo Kleiman Canizares, Jamie Clumpas, Alex Gordon, Tim Gunn, Kaelyn McGhie, Cam Scott and Kester Sykes - had been chosen as the Best 5-Minute Scene, and that Emma Hoseason had been chosen as the Direct Entrant to National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP).
These are extremely prestigious awards, meaning that our students will perform again at the National Shakespeare Festival held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend in June.
These awards are also a testament to the hard work and creativity of our students, the support and encouragement of our parents and the dedication of our Drama teachers. As well, it is exciting to note that many of the students chosen to perform in Wellington will be travelling to Shakespeare’s Globe in London next April, to take part in workshops and experience performances in the beautiful re-creation of Shakespeare’s own theatre. It is very pleasing to see that Kristin’s desire to respond to Shakespeare’s work looks set to continue!