Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ)

Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) was founded by Dawn Sanders, ONZM, QSM, in June 1991 as a result of managing New Zealand's gift of Globe Hangings for the reconstructed Globe in London. This project involved 500 New Zealand embroiderers and textile artists. SGCNZ continues to work closely with Shakespeare's Globe.

Only nine months after it was founded, SGCNZ held its first Festivals of Shakespeare in Schools in seven regions around New Zealand. In 2013, the 22nd SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals (SGCNZ UOSWSF) were held in 23 regions nationwide culminating, as always, with the National Festival in Wellington. Ninety thousand students have now participated, with 780 of them having been chosen to attend SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production week-long intensive of workshops, rehearsals and performances, and 350 of these students being selected to travel to the Globe and Stratford Upon Avon as members of SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company. As a significant focus of being a life skills enhancing organisation, SGCNZ embraces learning for all ages.

Integration of ethnicities is another feature of the Festivals. Students from different countries, as refuges, new migrants and even international students, find participation in the Festivals an ideal way of becoming integrated into their new school, enjoy camaraderie of fellow cast members, learn English, and have the opportunity of gaining many extra opportunities.

Making Shakespeare accessible to young people is a major goal! Scenes they perform in the Festivals are ‘bite sized'. The 5 minute scenes are only student-directed whilst the 15 minute scenes are either student - or adult-directed. Whilst only Shakespeare's words may be used, and from any one play, imaginative and innovative productions are encouraged. Live music and dance may be incorporated and often are, in extremely diverse interpretations.

The process involved in participating in the Festivals fosters the art of collaboration, cooperation, compromise, teamwork, leadership, time and project-management, self-esteem building and presentation skills. These skill-sets are transferable into whatever occupation the young people pursue.

SGCNZ offers competitions in costume design, music composition, static image, poster and DVD cover design and essay writing. These, and the Festivals, are now open to Homeschoolers as well.

A tiny snapshot of SGCNZ's Alumni reveals internationally renowned screen actors Melanie Lynskey, Antonia Prebble...; stage actors Kate Prior, Laurel Devenie, Brooke Williams, Dan Musgrove, Gareth Williams, Matu Ngaropo...; directors David Lawrence, Emily Bishop...; theatre management Angela Green-Q Theatre, Charlie McDermott-Basement Theatre, Cherie Jacobsen-BATS ; playwrights Arthur Meek, Branwen Millar, Eli Kent...; theatre collective directors Fiona McNamara, Ralph Upton, Ralph McCubbin Howell...; stage & film combat & stuntman Allan Henry; Weta designer Johnny Fraser Allen; publicists Brianne Kerr, Ryland Wood..; singers Madeleine Pierard, Kawhiti Waetford, Madeleine Hyland, Chelsea Bognuda, Michael Murphy...; composers Rochelle Bright, Isaac Stone, Celeste Oram...; radio announcer William Ray; film makers Mirina Leonti, Elliot Blakely...; to name but a very few... plus the teachers, lawyers, doctors, and many other occupations in which the close reading, communication and presentation skills they gain through their brush with Shakespeare stand them in fine stead.

SGCNZ selects mid-career actors wishing to apply for the biennial 3-4 week Shakespeare's Globe International Actors' Fellowship in London. Among Alumni of this are Peter Hambleton, Robyn Malcolm, Rawiri Paratene, Carmel McGlone, ...

SGCNZ Teachers Go Global comprises a two-week course at Shakespeare's Globe. Held biennially, it provides professional development and revitalisation of teaching skills and knowledge through outstanding Globe Education Practitioners.

For primary school students, SGCNZ has a new programme, Primarily Playing with Shakespeare, designed for the very young to be introduced to the Bard's works in a fun and enjoyable manner.

For those in their 20s to early 30s, SGCNZ is establishing the Emerging Theatre Practitioner Programme at the Globe, USA and Australia for them to gain professional development and make beneficial contacts.

Providing opportunities for all to discover the delights of Shakespeare's words as they are lifted from page to stage and appreciation of the relevance of his themes in today's world are central to SGCNZ.


St Cuthbert's college - Pericles. Image by Amy Schulz

 "SGCNZ UOSWSF 2013, a truly amazing experience! 3 years in the Festival, and it has been one of the best parts of my life."

"I had forgotten how amazing a weekend of Shakespeare actually is - for young and old alike."

"SGCNZ is thrilled to be a recipient of funding through the Arts Foundation Patronage Award from the Todd Family. This prestigious donation is hugely valued and appreciated."