Kuranui College is once again through to the National finals of the University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival after winning the 15-minute scene in the Wairarapa Regional heat last night.
Performing The Tempest to a full house, the students explored the power relationship between Prospero and Ariel.
Hayden Tankersley played Prospero, the wizard, which is quite fitting given his interest in clowning and doing magic tricks. “I started acting in primary school, just a little bit. The thing I’ve spent longest doing is the clowning and circus stuff,” he explained. “Years ago, for Christmas, my sister got a diablo. A couple of years after that we found it in the shed, and I gave it a go. Within ten to fifteen minutes I had already learnt more than my sister had. It sort of built up from there, so I went from the diablo to devil sticks, and then learning how to juggle.”
“I regularly go to the Carterton School gala, and I do birthday parties and markets quite often.”
Although the year 13 student has performed Shakespeare since year 9, this was his first year performing in the competition. “I’ve been involved with college productions, circus and clowning, and other dramatic things within school and I’m hoping to go to National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) next year.”
During his time at the college, Tankersley has acted with AJ Southey and looks up to the former Kuranui student and this year’s attendee at the Young Shakespeare Company at the Globe in London. “AJ’s great. He’s been coming in for the past week to help us with our 15-minute scene.”
Year 12 student Florence Cater was also awarded the choreography award for the performance. Her passions are both acting and dancing, and she’s been the recipient of awards in numerous dance and drama competitions.
Cater has been working with her dance teacher outside of school around four years. “My interest in drama was originally from my older brother, who did drama at Kuranui, and I have been dancing since I was three, dancing four times a week outside of school. My mum was a dance teacher,” she explained. “Now most of my inspiration comes from my drama teacher Mrs McLellan.”
“I’ve been doing drama and dance at Kuranui since year 9, so I’ve been just working my way up with the other seniors and taking opportunities when they come.”
The Tempest certainly proved to be a bit of challenge for Cater. Apart from Prospero played by Tankersley, the rest of the students played Ariel, the wind spirit, an interesting concept and testament to Cater’s skill with choreography. “The character of Ariel is not human. We had to make her look like she was not human, so we had to make movements which were flowing and quite different, and a bit obscure.”
Florence was also awarded the Greytown Little Theatre Scholarship today in assembly, worth $400 for her contribution and work with them.
The college will represent Wairarapa at the event held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday weekend, which involves two days of performances from students from around the country; 24 student-directed 5-minute and 24 teacher-directed 15-minute pieces. There are also workshops with industry professionals in everything from dance, voice and delivery of text, to movement, mime and comedy.
University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival results:
Winner 15-minute scene: The Tempest Kuranui College
Winner 5-minute student-directed scene: King Lear Wairarapa College (Jackson Burling Director)
Direct entry to the National Shakespeare in Schools Programme: Jacob Osbourne (Henry Bolingbroke) Rathkeale College
SCA cup for Delivery of Text: Brooke Robertson (Cordelia) Wairarapa College
Barbara Vincent Memorial Shield for Comic Role: Nicholas Penman (Petruchio) Chanel College
The Assessor’s other Awards were :
Best Sound Effects: Henry V Rathkeale College
Choreography: Florence Cater Kuranui College
Best Fight Scene: Romeo and Juliet Wairarapa College
Best Death Scene: James Graham ( Thisbe) Chanel College
Comic Timing: Midsummer Night’s Dream Greytown Primary School
The Macbeth Trio: Macbeth Solway College