Kāpiti's Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare regional festival was hosted by Kāpiti College this year with around 90 students involved.
"The festival was a great success and I congratulate all the teachers and supporters who directed, encouraged and inspired the students," Kāpiti College arts coordinator Margaret Jackson said.
"We have a lot of very talented young people in our midst.
"I enjoyed seeing the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the students enjoying themselves and supporting each other.
"The performances ranged widely and the judges were impressed by the high standard of performance and imagination."
Kāpiti College head of the arts department Siobhan Malley who has been involved in the festival for over a decade said the quality of this year's festival was probably the highest quality overall she had seen.
The results were dominated by Kāpiti College, which won seven awards, including the Sheilah Winn Festival Cup for the best five-minute scene.
The piece, a Macbeth compilation directed by students Winnie Van't Hof-Pacheco and Aaliyah Turner won four awards, three for the piece itself and one for outstanding actor for Simon Avery, who played Hecate in the piece.
"It was truly a surreal experience hearing our names being called out," said student co-director Aaliyah Turner.
"Every time our names were called out we just looked at each other in pure disbelief."
"You can't really compare creative expressions but I think our piece was merely different."
Aaliyah said the group focused on understanding the context of the scene from the start so when they learnt their lines could express the right emotion.
"This meant we could coherently communicate the ideas of the scene to the audience in a captivating way.
"I can't quite explain how it felt when they announced we were going to nationals," Aaliyah said.
"The closest I could probably say is that it felt like I was dreaming.
"After all, this is something I have been wanting and dreaming about since my first year of college and now it is real."
The winners of the Sheilah Winn Cup for the best 15-minute performance, Ari Leason from Whakatupurunga Rua Manu and Parekawa Finlay from Ōtaki College, also cannot believe their win.
"Going to nationals — I honestly still can't believe it,"Parekawa said.
"Performing in the festival was actually such a fun experience.
"It was nerve racking and scary beforehand but we had such a great audience who I thought responded perfectly to our piece, which made it that much easier to act and feel comfortable on stage and feel proud of our performance."
Although attending different colleges, Parekawa and Ari have been best friends for years.
"I knew we would work well together.
"We have a connection. We're so close that it's easy to do anything with each other.
"I think that's definitely the reason our piece worked so well."