Kuranui College student AJ Southey has achieved another milestone by being selected to attend the Globe in London next year.
AJ plus 47 other high school students from around the country, descended on Dunedin for the National Shakespeare Schools Programme week. Run by the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company, the week-long workshop concluded with three, 45-minute long performances.
“I was thrilled and excited to attend this week,” explained AJ. “Being amongst like-minded people who are passionate and keen left me feeling grounded and rejuvenated.” The workshop focused on things like physical awareness of the stage and other actors, breathing techniques, speech patterns within words and taking care of yourself.
Only 24 students are selected from the workshop to attend the Globe in London. When he found out he was going, AJ was speechless. “It’s such an honour. I get to have an experience I’ll never forget and at the same time, bring my own culture of waiata and haka to the Globe.”
Over the two weeks in London, AJ will learn about movement, voice, history and Shakespeare’s plays, along with a three day visit with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The whole trip culminates with a free night performance on the Globe stage.
In order for him to attend London next year, he will have to raise $10,000. Another Wairarapa student Jackson Burling will also be attending the Globe and the two of them are looking at fundraising ideas.
“We’d quite like to offer drama classes over the holidays for children,” AJ said. “Because every new generation needs encouragement and someone to believe in them.”
Next year, AJ will be studying for a diploma in stage and screen at Te Auaha, which will lead him onto a Bachelor of Arts in Creativity.