SMC Centre Stage at Prestigious Drama Festival

Eight students from SMC will compete in five categories at the upcoming SGCNZ’s National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday weekend.

This is New Zealand’s most prestigious drama festival, and SMC has an almost unbroken track record of recognition over the past decade. Numerous SMC students recognised at the awards have gone on to perform at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Megan Herd, teacher in charge of our contingent, says Shakespeare’s themes have universal appeal.

“Our students also love reimagining the plays in new contexts and finding those thematic links highlighting the universal nature of Shakespeare’s plays. They love how they can take a scene from Shakespeare and be instantly drawn to the characters, the themes, and the drama. The girls have seen their seniors go through the competition and achieve success – they have something to aspire to. They look up to those who have gone before them and want to continue to create worthy work.”

Megan Herd, teacher in charge of our contingent

Mrs Herd says there is a strong sense of whanaungatanga (close connection) in the cast, that has developed through the many years of working together.

“The girls trust each other. The strong relationships the girls form come from working together for many years on all of the Performing Arts opportunities they have collaborated on at SMC. They become a little Drama whānau!”

Megan Herd, teacher in charge of our contingent

Executive principal Diana Patchett says the outstanding results reflect the girls’ passion and commitment.

“Their results are incredible and illustrate the encouraging environment our girls are fortunate to be part of.”

Executive principal Diana Patchett

SMC’s finalists:

Caitlin Dufty – National Finalist

SGCNZ/National Shakespeare in Schools Production

Direct Entrant

Caitlin was awarded direct entry because of her outstanding performance of Juliet in a 15 minute scene from Romeo and Juliet. This is an invitation to attend a prestigious week-long residential course culminating in a performance and the opportunity to be selected to join the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company that will travel to the UK to perform at the Globe Theatre.

Yasmin Marsh and Emma Cawood – National Finalist

Regional award – Best Onstage Connection

Regional winner – Best Overall Five Minute Scene from King Lear

Yasmin and Emma’s scene will represent Canterbury in the SGCNZ UOSWSF National Festival.

Holly Sawyer, Claudia Hundleby and Paris Wiese – National Finalists

SGCNZ/Ida Gaskin Shakespeare

Essay Competition with English at Otago

Each student produced an original essay that gained a place in the national finals.

Chloe Taylor – National Finalist

SGCNZ/Morrison Music Trust

Shakespeare Music Composition Competition

Chloe was also named Best Student Director and won plaudits for her direction of Romeo and Juliet which was awarded Best Use of Silence.

Ella Hart-Stewart – National Finalist

SGCNZ/Dawn Sanders Shakespeare

Costume Design Competition

Ella’s original design, based on Lady Macbeth, will be professionally made by costumier Tina de Bes, and will then be displayed for six weeks at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London later this year.

Best wishes to all the girls competing. We know you’ll do us proud.