They might not be your typical theatre nerds and they don't geek out over Shakespeare, but three student leaders at Kāpiti College put together performances that earned them sought after places at this year's SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP).
Kāpiti College year 13s Cody Batty, Peyton Morete and Hayley Searancke were selected from more than 600 students competing at regional and national SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals around the country.
Looking a little different this year, both the regional and national competitions were held online with groups sending in video submissions.
While unable to perform for a crowd of fellow students and supporters from all over the region, Kāpiti College students were still able to perform in a world class facility, Te Raukura ki Kāpiti, in front of a small audience of friends and family.
"We had our performance all sussed before lockdown as the performance was supposed to be a week into lockdown," Peyton said.
"So after lockdown we had to come back to it to film.
"It was different not doing it with everyone else around.
"You want to go there - to regionals and nationals, to compete in front of a big crowd rather than just a couple of parents," Cody said.
"I remember going to the regional festival last year and there was a big vibe and you got to see everyone else's performances which helped you learn from others," Peyton said.
"Submitting a video online was good for the circumstances, we got to compete, but we didn't get a chance to see other school's performances because they were videoed.
"Filming our performance for regionals was alright but not getting to compete at nationals was disappointing."
Getting into NSSP has given the students a chance to get together with other students and learn from the best.
"We're not really hardcore Shakespeareans but we're all into performing," Hayley said.
"I like having an outlet to express my emotions."
For Peyton, performing is her passion.
"It's stressful because you have to learn lines or lyrics and know where you have to be, but it's a stress that's worth it in the end."
For Cody, he is able to be himself while acting.
"I love acting, I love feeling like I'm able to be myself while acting instead of trying to fake it with the academic stuff at school," Cody said.
NSSP will be held in Dunedin from September 26–October 4.
Cody, Peyton and Hayley will be three of 46 students from around the country spending half of each day doing workshops with high-calibre tutors and the other half rehearsing, along with the winners of the SGCNZ Costume Design Competition and Music Composition Competition as student costumier and composer.
They will spend the week putting together scenes from The Merchant of Venice, King John and Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Katie Boyle, Alexander Sparrow and Clare Adams.
"I'm looking forwards to being under the direction of some really knowledgeable directors and professionals and learning a lot," Hayley said.
"I just want to learn and get more advice as an actor," said Cody, who plans on studying at the New Zealand Drama School, Toi Whakaari next year.
They will then perform for the public on October 2 and 3 at the University of Otago, College of Education.