Stratford High School's deputy head boy will act and direct his heart out at a week long theatre intensive.

Ethan McGrath, 18, is one of 40 selected to attend Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand's National Shakespeare School Production (NSSP) in Dunedin during the September/ October school holidays.

Assessors from each of the regional Sheilah Winn festivals have the opportunity of selecting one student to attend NSSP by a student-direct entry.

Assessors from the Taranaki festival selected Ethan for this position.


At the intensive, Ethan will attend workshops and rehearsals, having one week to learn and prepare a compressed Shakespeare play.

He says he is excited at the opportunity.

"I've never been to Dunedin before so that is exciting. It's also great to have the opportunity to extend my knowledge and meet like-minded people."

Ethan directed and acted in Henry IV, act one, scene two.

"It's a comedy which is easy to get into and learn."

This is the second year Ethan has entered the Sheilah Winn competition.

"Last year gave me the experience and knowledge I needed to get this year's result."

This year, the competition was different due to Covid-19. He says participants sent in video entries.


"This had both its advantages and disadvantages as there wasn't the adrenaline of performing in front of people to help remember lines. However, it was great to have the opportunity to redo our performance and make sure we submitted the best one."

Ethan and his peers rehearsed every day once the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted to meet the deadline of June 15.

"I'm happy we were still able to compete."

Ethan says he enjoys performing, taking drama each year as one of his school subjects.

"I love acting and directing. It's quite fun."

He says competing in the Sheilah Winn competition started his interest in Shakespeare.


"I enjoy learning about Shakespeare, it's very interesting."

Ethan is busy fundraising for the trip.

"I play football so I'm planning on holding a sausage sizzle at one of the games."

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