Kuranui students took home almost more awards than they could carry at the University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival this weekend. Having huge shoes to fill after the school’s success over prior years, the students smashed all expectations, receiving four awards.
The school’s contribution to the event went high and above the performances, with junior student Joshua Wiegman being awarded Best Technician for his contributions to backstage work with the stage manager of the Michael Fowler Centre, and the school taking away the Most Co-operative School award for the second year running.
The student’s drama teacher Juanita McLellan is glowing with pride for her students, saying “I am very proud of how well the team performed, but more proud of the manakitanga they embodied all weekend.
“We have won the co-operative school award twice in a row, and I think it is because of the kind of people we are. We are very hands on when it comes to helping others, and our school values underpin how we hold ourselves as people. Kuranui students tend to see a job that needs doing, and feel empowered enough to do it, whether it is manning a merch desk, cleaning a floor, hanging posters or helping people get to where they need to go.
“It definitely says a lot about the people who went and how wonderful they are, but it speaks volumes about our school, as there was only one student who went last year as well as this year.”
It is a testament to the passion and skill of their teacher that the students consistently perform well above national standards and display such a high calibre of achievement and spirit.
The students also won the award for the Most Elizabethan Scene for their connection to the audience for their 5-minute interpretation of Richard III and 15-minute performance of the Tempest.
Year 13 student Florence Cater was also presented with the Outstanding Ensemble award for her student-led performance of Richard III.