A Whanganui drama teacher has been elected to the board of a New Zealand Shakespeare organisation.

Paul Collins, who teaches at Wanganui Girls College, has recently become a board member of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, which promotes the playing of Shakespeare in schools. It also organises Shakespeare festivals for students throughout New Zealand, culminating in sending 24 of the top students to the Globe in London for workshops and performances.

It was through his involvement with the local regional Shakespeare festival that Mr Collins came to the board's attention.

"Most of the board members know me through my work with the Shakespeare festival over the past decade. I'm also a drama teacher working at the chalk face, so to speak, and I think that appealed to them."


Mr Collins has been a fan of "The Bard" since he first acted in a Shakespeare play when he was 17.

The Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand was started in 1991 by Dawn Sanders. Mr Collins said much of his work on the board will involve fundraising for the regional and national festivals.

"There are 24 regional festivals, and each can be funded up to $1000 each. Then there is the national festival, which usually happens in Wellington and costs up to $50,000."

In July Mr Collins will take 24 top acting students to Britain to spend time at the Globe. "Even though I'm from England, and I'm a drama teacher, I've never been to the Globe. I can't wait."