The Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival is an annual event that Macleans College participates in along with other schools. This year’s competition was held on the 7th of April at the Macleans College auditorium.

Students came up with a range of Shakespeare pieces, some famous like ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and others, hidden gems such as ‘The Comedy of Errors’. The festival is a competition where students direct their own Shakespeare scene, and it means they encapsulate everything – the challenge is creating their own spin on a Shakespeare story, such as a different twist on a theme. The performances are either five or fifteen minutes long, with Macleans College entering six groups. Five of which were five-minute performances, and one that was a fifteen-minute performance.

“[The] Shakespeare festival was an amazing opportunity and experience. I made so many friends and interacted with so many passionate and interesting people. You may not know Shakespeare, but if you have even the tiniest interest, give it a go. It’s totally worth it.”

– Lauren Timmins, Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew Act II Scene I

All performances were evaluated by two judges, Jan Saussey, who is a director and actress, and also teaches workshops for students. Second of all is the renowned Dr Jane Luton, who has trained in Drama and Theatre Studies at 4 different universities (Warwick [UK], Reading [UK], Waikato, and Auckland), has taught secondary school drama classes, and has written multiple books on Drama education. Even with all of this, she still acts from time to time; this is her fifth year judging the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival!

There were a multitude of schools competing alongside Macleans College: St. Kentigern College, Botany Downs Secondary College, Rosehill College, Papatoetoe High School, Howick College, and Ardmore Homeschool Group. Overall, every school made up twenty-four performances for the audience to enjoy.

In the end, St. Kentigern College took out the glorious victory from the five-minute category. They performed ‘Troilus and Cressida, Act I Scene I & Act V Scene III’. This scene contained 19 actors, the largest cast in the festival by far.

For the fifteen-minute category, Howick College’s performance of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ Act II Scene I’ took the win.

There was an individual winner for best actor, who was Bailey Waugh from Rosehill College.

A massive congratulations to all the students who put their foot forward for this event – really showcasing Macleans’ passion for art and literature. 

Written by Emma Li, edited by Hope Zhang and Aaron Huang
Photography by Joseph Zhang

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