Hero photograph
The team back in their dressing room, very relieved after a successful performance - phew!
Photo by Ms I Bercinskas

SGCNZ National Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival: “All’s well that ends well”

Miss P Hare —

From the 3rd to the 7th of June, Columba’s twenty Sheilah Winners, as well as Ms Bercinskas and Ms Andrew, participated in the National Shakespeare Festival in Wellington.

While there, the team participated in a day of workshops led by some of New Zealand’s most talented directors and performers (we were very excited to learn that one of our instructors had once played an orc!) that honed our Shakespearean skills.

The weekend was dedicated to performance: after spending Saturday at the Michael Fowler Centre watching other schools from around the country play their scenes, we performed our own (Macbeth Act iv Scene i) on Sunday morning. The calibre of the festival was very high so we were pleased to receive one of its awards for ‘Outstanding Imagination and Commitment to the Text’, presented to us at a prizegiving led by DPM and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson.

Monday saw us visit Parliament to receive useful feedback from the experienced assessors and learn something of their story, then back home to rest (it’s hard to sleep in one of New Zealand’s reported ‘most haunted hotels’ after all!). We’re very grateful that this trip was able to happen COVID-wise as all of us had an amazing time in Wellington and have learnt a lot throughout our whole Sheilah Winn experience.

It’s more than actors that make a show: a big thank you to all the parents, caregivers, teachers and supporters that had big faith in our big dreams - without you, none of this would have been possible! Special mention to the following:

  • Our subject teachers who allowed us time-out-of-class to rehearse and attend the Regional and National Competition.

  • Savannah Harrison and Furnware company for kindly shipping a key set piece, a bar-table, from Hastings to Wellington and back for free!

  • Ms Evans, for her thoughtful organisation of a donation to our cause that significantly relieved the financial strain of our trip - you’re wonderful!

  • Liana Johnston, thank you for taking care of our copious props and costumes and making sure they made it to the right place at the right time!

  • Parents who came up from Dunedin or who were in Wellington and came to see us - thank you for your time and support!

  • Ms Lach, for lending us her table every second day. Thank you for your patience - we promise you can have it back now...

  • And of course, Ms B and Ms Andrew, who made sure we were at the right place at the right time - harder than you think! Thank you for all the sleepless nights and support you gave us during our time away, we all appreciate it so much.

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.”- Twelfth Night, Act iii Scene iii