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Kuranui shines at Shakespeare regionals

From left: Grace Voice, Alexander Southey, Florence Cater and Keziah Stonnell performing in Pericles. PHOTO/LUCIA ZANMONTI

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Kuranui College’s drama students are hoping last year’s experience will hold them in good stead heading into this year’s Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival national competition.

For the second year running, Kuranui qualified from the Wairarapa regionals in the 15-minute teacher-directed scene category, this time for their scene from Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

The regional competition was held at Kuranui College last week with six schools from across Wairarapa competing.

Each school performed two scenes from Shakespeare plays — a 15-minute teacher-directed scene as well as a five-minute student-directed scene.

Kuranui will be joined at the national event — to be held at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre in June — by Rathkeale College and St Matthew’s Collegiate students who took out the five-minute category with their scene from Antony and Cleopatra.

Kuranui’s Amber Spicer picked up an individual award for her outstanding direction of their five-minute Hamlet scene, and said she was pleased with how the performances had come together.

“I’ve loved Shakespeare ever since we started doing it a couple of years ago at school.

“Last year my drama teacher came up with the concept for our 15-minute scene and this year, a whole group of seniors worked with her and we formed the scene around her idea.”

They were keen to improve on last year’s performance at nationals where they failed to pick up awards for their scene but did claim a couple of individual awards.

Juanita McLellan, head of performing arts at the school, was delighted for her “incredibly hard working and dedicated performers”.

“We’ll be competing against 48 other schools so it will be a great experience for them.

“Last year we picked up two national awards which was pretty exciting, and we’re hoping to do the same sort of thing this year.”

The award winners from the Wairarapa regionals were:

Barbara Vinten Memorial Shield for comedy — Max Walden (Chanel College).

Speech Communication Association Cup for delivery of text –Thoman Laybourn (Kuranui College).

Direct entry to National Shakespeare Schools Production — Andriette Erasmus (Chanel College).

Best stage combat — Rathkeale College/St Matthew’s Collegiate.

Best ensemble — Solway College.

Spirit of the stage — Chanel College.

Student direction — Amber Spicer (Kuranui College).

Five-minute student-directed scene selected to go to nationals — Rathkeale College/St Matthew’s Collegiate.

Fifteen-minute teacher-directed scene selected to go to nationals — Kuranui College.

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