Two young actors perform  Act 5, Scene 1 of Hamlet, also known as the skull scene, at The SGCNZ Shakespeare Festival.

Shakespeare’s sparkling wit and tragic plots have captivated audiences for over 400 years. For the past 33 years the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival has taken place. It encourages from Years 7 to 13 to take part in celebrating his words. The competition includes five-minute student-directed and 15 minute adult-directed play excerpts. Both formats will be performed at St James Theatre across King’s Birthday weekend. The performers are all finalists from regional competitions around the country. 

The 33rd Shakespeare Globe Centre University of Otago Sheilah Winn Festival 2024 (SGCNZ UOSWF) runs over two days. The public can attend multiple sessions. The final on Sunday night is the most exciting of the weekend. SGCNZ CEO Dawn Sanders says over the festival’s three decades it has engaged with 134,500 rangatahi and 7,000 more in other programmes.  “It is very exciting to be able to follow the successes of so many of them in a plethora of occupations” she said. Watch as the next generation of actors test their stage skills and breathe new life into age-old text.