Sheila Winn Shakespeare back as you like it

Queen’s High School pupils Kit Speigel (Puck) (left) and Lucy Grant (Oberon) perform a scene from...
Queen’s High School pupils Kit Speigel (Puck) (left) and Lucy Grant (Oberon) perform a scene from A Mid Summer Night’s Dream at last year’s Sheila Winn Shakespeare Festival. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Young actors will step into the limelight to showcase the genius of The Bard in next week’s Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) 2024 Regional University of Otago Sheila Winn Shakespeare Festival.

The day-long Shakespeare celebration, featuring rangatahi (youth) from Years 7-13, will be held next Thursday, April 4, from 9am-3pm at the Kings & Queens Performing Arts Centre, Bay View Rd.

Whether at school, home-schooled or in community youth groups, the rangatahi will let "their imaginary forces work" as they invigorate short scenes from any of Shakespeare’s plays.

Multiple regional festivals will be held across the country, and several hundred young actors and student directors will be chosen to take part in the National Festival in Wellington for five days over King’s Birthday weekend.

Of these, 46 young actors and student directors will be selected to take part in a nine-day intensive SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools production course, to be held in Dunedin in the term three holidays.

And finally, half of these rangatahi will be chosen to form SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company (YSC) 2025, and will get to go to the new Globe in Southwark, London.

Now in their 33rd year, the festivals have engaged with 134,500 rangatahi and over 7000 more in other programmes, SGCNZ chief executive Dawn Sanders said.

Since the new Globe in Southwark opened in 1997, more than 600 rangatahi have been selected to go there as members of the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Companies and another 100 through Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ’s other programmes for teachers, mid-career actors, interns and emerging practitioners.