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SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival

25 March 2020
SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare E-Festivals and Competitions

“We still want the Festival! – via film – just give us a bit longer!!” – the plea from teachers and students… So we are!!

The new extended closing date for all Regional SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Festival entry video submissions of their scenes is 25 May.

This is based on the 4 week Alert Level 4 – if it is longer, or there are requests for longer still, this will be redefined.  Get your students to keep up rehearsing their lines – lots of methods of even doing these electronically, whether on Zoom/Skype/other group e-methods...self-videoing…to the mirror…!!

Entries to the allied Competitions
– Costume Design, Music Composition, Poster, Static, Video Title Card Design and Shakespeare Essay – are due date on 11 May, given that these can be worked on independently during home-isolation. Criteria and other details are on our website
While we are at Alert Level 4, these should be couriered to:
5a Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021
After that, the original address applies.

It is great to hear so many positive comments about continuing with SGCNZ’s Festivals, albeit in a very different mode!

Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head. As You Like It

Registrations must still be made via the University’s SGCNZ Festival website:
Any queries, please contact
Cellphone +64 27 283 6016
Home tel +64 4 476 8369


The University of Otago and its Division of Humanities are proud to be the naming rights sponsor of the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

Register your entry for the Festival


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The University of Otago and the SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival

The University has sponsored this event since 2007. A number of the talented performers and participants in the Festival continue their education at the University of Otago, and we are equally proud of the talented alumni that have progressed through both organisations.

The University enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) through its energetic CEO Dawn Sanders. For example, a number of University staff from our English and Theatre programmes have served as performance assessors and workshop tutors during the Festival; and SGCNZ has provided the University community with a number of fascinating, internationally recognised speakers, from the Globe in London and other Shakespeare-related companies.

The SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production (SGCNZ NSSP) was held in Dunedin in 2010, 2014 and 2016; and will be held here in 2018. Many of the Directors and Tutors engaged for SGCNZ NSSP have strong connections with the University of Otago.

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The SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival

The Festival is an annual event that involves more than half the secondary schools in the country. During the Regional Festival, students engage with Shakespeare's plays by performing 5-minute and 15-minute excerpts from them with schools in their area.

Schools from each region are then selected to go on to participate in the National Festival.

The Festival scope is wide as students act, direct, serve as crew, compose music, write essays; and create costumes, posters, static images and dvd covers for their performances. A large percent of students participating in the Festival - 73%, are aged between 16 and 18 years old, with the majority of performances - 68% in 2017, being student-directed.

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Video about the Festival

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Some Facts - SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival

Yearly Facts

Regional Festivals are held between March and April every year, in 24 centres throughout the country.

The National Festival, featuring selected representatives of the regional festivals, is held during Queen's birthday weekend in Wellington.

Every year

  • over 5,500+ students participate, watched by more than 200,000+ people
  • from regional and national festivals 48 students are selected for the SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production (SGCNZ NSSP)
  • from this group 24 students are chosen for the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company (SGCNZ YSC) which performs at Shakespeare's Globe, London

NSSP Dunedin 2014

SGCNZ NSSP 2014 students and Dawn Sanders outside the University of Otago's Allen Hall Theatre

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Some History

Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand was founded in 1991, and held its first Shakespeare Festivals in 1992.

Since then

  • 110,000 high school students have participated
  • more than half the secondary schools in New Zealand are involved
  • home schooled students joined the festival in 2014
  • 970 secondary school students have been selected to attend the SGCNZ NSSP (SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production week)
  • 475 New Zealand secondary school students have performed at Shakespeare's Globe, London as members of the SGCNZ YSC (SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company)

Register for the University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

Find out more about the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand.