All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players, and students from two Northland schools will be treading the boards next month at the National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.
Scenes from Two Noble Kinsmen, Cymbeline, Measure for Measure and 20 other plays will be presented by the 48 groups from throughout the country at Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand's National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals (SGCNZ UOSWSF) over Labour Weekend.
From Northland, groups from Tauraroa Area School and Whangārei Girls' High School will be performing.
As well, Manaakitia Hoepo, 17, from Kaitaia College, who was named best performer for Te Tai Tokerau in the regional Shakespeare Festival, will give a speech and mentor the young actors. Manaakitia has been selected as a Direct Entry student to SGCNZ's National Shakespeare Schools Production week in September/October. He will also be Inspiring SGCNZ Alumnus speaker on Sunday with the showcase from 4-5pm.
Performed in Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre throughout the morning and afternoon on Saturday and Sunday of Queen's Birthday Weekend, the 5 and 15-minute scenes, were selected out of over 500 scenes from SGCNZ's Regional Festivals nationwide.
Tauraroa Area School will perform various scenes from Romeo and Juliet on the stage on the morning of June 1, while Whangārei Girls' High School will perform Act III scene I from Romeo and Juliet on the morning of June 2.
The casts of the school range from 2 to 36, which is the largest ever. There is inclusion of te reo and other cultural influences.
Of the 120,000 participants over the past 28 years, many alumni have gone on to fill theatres and screen, acting, directing, producing, playing roles backstage, front of house, as arts managers, work in Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, become radio and television reporters, playwrights, teachers, promotional positions, and a myriad other occupations. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is also an alumna.
In addition to the acts from the plays there will be scenes which were invited from SGCNZ's inaugural Dance Nimble Soles programme including Henry VI Part I – performed by Wellington Home Educators' Network, Antony and Cleopatra by the Sri Lankan Dance Academy and from Romeo and Juliet by Wellington College in mime and NZ Sign Language.