Congratulations Zarek

26/10/2016

On September 24th, at the beginning of these past school holidays, I met 47 other thespians in Dunedin for the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand National Shakespeare Schools Production 2016 (SGCNZ NSSP). At first, I was absolutely terrified of flying to a different city, meeting 47 new people and living and working with them for over a week. But as soon as I arrived on Saturday, I hardly felt any anxiety at all. I was ready for what the week was going to throw at me. SGCNZ NSSP is just over a week of intense rehearsals and workshops with industry professionals around the topics of Shakespeare, theatre, and performing, culminating in two public performances at the end of the week. I was cast in Julius Caesar. I found a new love for not only the play, but for Shakespeare’s tragedies as well. I’m more of a fan of the comedies, so I was at first reluctant to be in a play that focussed a lot on politics in Ancient Rome. But those first few days of discussion, and then eventually staging it, really made me discover another side of Shakespeare that I turned out to love. Highlights of the week included the multiple bus tours we had. Most of the students didn’t know each other before the week, so putting us all on one bus for a mystery adventure around the city, seeing the best of what Dunedin had to offer (including Larnach Castle, Baldwin Street, and the University of Otago) really helped us bond easily. From NSSP, I have been lucky enough to be one of 24 students selected to travel to the UK and perform at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company (YSC). The program is around two and a half weeks long and involves working with industry professionals in London. This is the opportunity of a lifetime - one that I am very grateful to have been given. I am looking forward to representing Garin next year and the Nelson region. If you feel you would like to help me get to London on this very expensive adventure (which I have to raise approximately $8500 for), I have set up a givealittle.co.nz page where I am collected donations (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/zarek-to-uk- 2017). Thank you so much for your support! Zarek Wentzell