Young actors to perform modern Shakespeare

SHAKE IT UP: Verdon College actors Shanay Fannin 17, lying on floor, and, from left, Kami Corbin, 17, Meg Kelly, 16, Shaun Swain, 17, and Kathleen Adams, 16, rehearse ahead of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival Southland contest tonight.
SHAKE IT UP: Verdon College actors Shanay Fannin 17, lying on floor, and, from left, Kami Corbin, 17, Meg Kelly, 16, Shaun Swain, 17, and Kathleen Adams, 16, rehearse ahead of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival Southland contest tonight.

Southland teens will take to the stage tonight to present Shakespeare at speed.

Twelve troupes from eight schools throughout Southland and from Queenstown will perform snippets of the Bard's works during the Southland heat of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

The young actors will be competing for a spot in the national finals of the competition, held in Wellington on Queen's Birthday Weekend, and for places in drama workshops.

Verdon College teacher Brigid More said the performances, which were either five or 15-minute excerpts of Shakespeare's plays, had been slightly adapted by the high-school actors.

"It's really a modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare, you know.

"It's not traditional at all, which is fun."

The annual competition had been held in the region for more than 20 years, she said.

The Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival begins tonight at 7pm in the Verdon College hall.

Entry costs $5 for adults and a gold coin for students, and proceeds go to help winners attend the finals and workshops.

The Southland Times