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Teacher inspires winning Shakespeare streak

May 6th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

IT’S NO surprise that Kapiti College took out the top two prizes again at the local Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition this year, with Siobhan Malley as their director.

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Margaret Brown, Siobhan Malley and Leonie Orsborn dressed up for Kapiti College's Shakespeare day. Photo: Supplied

Kapiti College staged the event, which was one of the regional schools competitions, last Thursday.

Paraparaumu, Otaki, Horowhenua, Wainuiomata, and Kapiti College were the five colleges competing  for prizes and to gain entrance to the national competition in Wellington in June.

Kapiti’s hours of practise getting ready for the festival paid off when both of the college’s entries won their way through to the national finals (see end of story).

Ms Malley first entered the college four years ago, and each year students have won prizes.

Her passion for theatre started with primary school drama groups which led her to studying theatre at Victoria University.

During that time she participated in street theatre work for the TV series ‘Dark Knight’.

Malley’s experience with other acting groups, such as in the Fringe Festival, film club, major productions and senior drama class performances illustrate her commitment to the performing arts.

“We started rehearsing at the beginning of March and each group had two rehearsals in the school holidays, rehearsals were generally an hour and a half to two hours long,” she says.

“It is impossible” to calculate the hours that were put into rehearsing, practising, lighting and stage set up.”

The ideas and themes behind the two Kapiti College pieces came from Malley’s creativity, previous directing and acting experiences.

“I wanted to deal with villains this year and Iago and Richard III are considered two of Shakespeare’s greatest villains,” she says.

“Richard III, his language is seductive. Despite being deformed, Richard’s gift with language allows him to seduce someone who hated him.”

The idea behind Othello, who is the”puppet master”, is that he appears manipulative and controls everyone around him for his own entertainment Malley says.

The win for Kapiti College is a personal one to Malley as it’s very important to her.

“I take the competition very seriously and work the students very hard.”

“From a personal point of view I feel successful when I push them further than they thought they could go and it pays off, of course, four out of four wins does put a huge amount of pressure on me to win again next year,” she says.

Malley hopes the audience understood the diversity of the plays.

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WINNING EMOTION: Jack McDonald and Charlotte Dawson in the emotional Othello. Photo: Alice Petrie

“I am hoping they can see how versatile Shakespeare is and how the stories are still relevant today.”

Winning students
Kapiti’s two winning entries came from the plays Richard III and Othello.

Students Jack Mc Donald, who played Richard III, and Charlotte Dawson, who played Lady Anne, won the top overall prize to gain entrance into the nationals in Wellington.

The group who played Othello, Corey Kellogg, Marc McCarthy, Sally Brady, Trent Taylor, Rhya Mcready, Troy Coutts and Harriet Leeke won best use of elements.

From that group, Corey also gained direct entry into the National Shakespeare Schools production section.

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