National finals for Shakespeare festival

A group of 14 actors travelled down to Wellington on May 31, 2013 for the national finals of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

The festival began at Wellington East Girls High School with a variety of workshops covering a variety of Shakespearean acting topics including stage combat, history and Japanese Kyogen.

After these workshops, the group was treated to a thought-provoking and entertaining performance of After Juliet, the unofficial sequel to Romeo and Juliet.

On Saturday, the students once again made their way to the school for their placing calls. Here, they had the opportunity to practice on the stage prior to their adjudicated performances.

The group of the fifteen minute Coriolanus extract, directed by Meerah Yogakumar, also spent many extra hours at the backpackers, rehearsing for their afternoon performance.

Despite the actor of Coriolanus, Adam Berry, receiving many odd looks backstage as he walked around shirtless waiting for red paint to dry, the group gave a confident performance to thunderous applause.

The next day, the sister duo composed of Shaanil and Nishaa Senarath presented their hilarious five minute extract from As You Like It, leaving the audience in bouts of laughter.

At the awards ceremony that night, the Young Shakespeare Company, which included former and current Macleans students Tyra Wilson and Idam Sondhi, gave a series of performances.

The fifteen minute Coriolanus performance gained the Most Original Choice of Play award.

Furthermore, Nishaa was selected for the National Schools Shakespeare Production due to her stellar performance at the festival.

Highlights of the weekend also included constant arguments over what to eat, night time jam sessions around the piano, and the exploration of the streets and shops of Wellington.

Article by Adam Berry. Edited by Frank Zhou. Photos by Mrs Cleave-Marra.

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