Katikati College’s win at this year’s SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival regional final has gone down a storm at the school.
Year 13 students Ethan Morse, Tyler Clarke, Micaela Fleming and Georgia McLean won the best 15-minute production at the regional finals for their presentation of Act 1, Scene 2 from The Tempest.
Making their win all the more rewarding was that fact it was the first time in six years Katikati had entered the competition.
“Going up against the big schools and winning the competition was really satisfying and hugely gratifying,” says Ethan.
“But it was also really fun; we’re all friends and love drama so it was great to meet up in the weekends or after-school to work on our scene.”
In their scene the great sorcerer Prospero and Ariel, a spirit bound to his servitude, revel in a storm they created which causes a boat to shipwreck on their island. But Prospero’s mood quickly darkens when Ariel reminds him of his promise to set her free.
The students say the idea of using three actors to portray Ariel, similar to a Greek Chorus, was originally conceived by Tyler.
“Visually, we were able to do a lot with the idea and like having the Ariels coming on from different sides of the stage, speaking in tandem or one after each other,” says Tyler.
“For our scene we also had the three Ariels act out the tempest using paper boats set against a sinister music track, which worked really well.”
Katikati College’s head of drama Maggie Kelly says the group’s dedication, creativity and hard work saw them rise to the challenge of interpreting Shakespeare for a modern audience.
“These students directed their own work, which was innovative and interpreted in such a way the judge said she had never seen anything like it,” says Maggie.
“It’s always a little intimidating for Katikati to compete against the big Tauranga schools, so I’m very, very proud of them.”
The group is now focusing on fundraising for the national finals in Wellington on Queen’s Birthday in June. Any help can be directed to the college at 07 549 0434.
Also heading to the national finals is Mount Maunganui College, which won the best five-minute production for their presentation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.