More success for Kāpiti performing arts students, this time at the national Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

The national festival was held in Wellington with Ari Leason and Parekawa Finley receiving two awards for their performance of Othello.

The collaboration between the students from Ōtaki College and Te Kura-a-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano had people talking after it was performed at the Wellington Regional Festival and again stood out for its innovative take on the classic text.

Being awarded the Most Imaginative and Innovative Production Award and the Most Thought-Provoking Performance Award, Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand chief executive Dawn Saunders said it was one of the best scenes the festival has ever seen.

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"The Ōtaki College and Te Kura-a-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano Othello was truly up there with the best scenes ever in our 28 years of SGCNZ's festivals.

"The conceits used in their Othello were extremely intelligently and deftly presented, in a skilfully constructed dialogue in seamless te reo and English by the two actors playing Othello, Desdemona and Emilia, with inclusion of the evil aspects of Iago.

"The imaginative approaches and ability to create a truly thought-provoking performance were outstanding and they certainly brought out lines, which although familiar, one heard differently.

"It is exciting to see the Bard continuing to challenge us and the way we think — especially through the eyes of these amazing young actors."

Simon Avery from Kāpiti College was awarded the KAM Talent Actor Contract for his performance in Macbeth and Peyton Morete also won first place in the Music for use in a Shakespeare Play category of the SGCNZ/Morrison Music Trust Shakespeare Music Composition Competition.

She wrote and performed The Dog is Dead at the Wellington regional festival before recording it and sending it in with the awards being announced at the national festival.

Well known already on the Kāpiti music scene, this was the first time Peyton has been involved in Shakespeare.

"I was speechless when I won the category," she said.

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