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Student stories - Arts

Winning performances in Shakespeare festival for ACG Parnell College

Drama at ACG Parnell College is going from strength to strength, chalking up more winning performances on the stage.

Each year, Shakespeare Globe Centre of New Zealand (SGCNZ) holds nationwide festivals known as the University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

High school students perform five- and 15-minute scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, set in any time, place and dress while remaining loyal to Shakespeare’s words.

ACG Parnell College drama students won both big awards at the Auckland Central regional festival.

“Both their 15 minute student-directed scene of Macbeth and their five minute student-directed scene of The Tempest were outstanding,” said drama teacher Amanda Burnett.

The Tempest team comprised students Scarlett Kean, Ella-Rose Meagher and Zoe Stokes, while Flynn Mehlhopt and Benjamin Stubbing were the student directors of Macbeth.

“The Tempest combined tension, power and thought-provoking contexts, and the team’s excellent acting ability left the audience and judges speechless. Both groups exhibited a wonderful team spirit as they all helped each other out with stage setting and were incredibly supportive of each other,” said Ms Burnett.

In addition, Art student Kshema Amiparu was selected as a finalist in both the Costume Design and Static Image divisions and Angela Xu was named as a finalist in the Static Image division.

It’s the latest in a raft of successes for the school’s Drama department. In last year’s Cambridge International exams, every single student in AS Drama at ACG Parnell College received an ‘A’ and Spencer Earwaker, now in Year 13, received a High Achievement Award for gaining the top mark in New Zealand.

And in last year’s Showdown awards (the Auckland secondary school production competition) ACG Parnell College students won Best Lighting and Best Supporting Actress awards and were nominated for Best Direction and Best Play. It was the school’s first year of entering the event.

The students will now take their scenes, costume designs and static images to Wellington to compete in the National Festival, held over Queen’s Birthday weekend at the Michael Fowler Centre and Opera House.