Shake Alive 2016


SGCNZ PPWS 2019 – Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night will be performed by primary school students on the 5th and 7th of November from 12.30-1.30 pm .

Further details will be posted closer to the time.


SGCNZ PPWS 2018 – Much Ado About Nothing

Due to popularity, SGCNZ had to extend its 2018 Primarily Playing with Shakespeare performances to two days. Karori West Normal School, Kena Kena Primary School, St Mark’s School and WHEN performed allocated scenes on Tuesday 6 November at lunchtime at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School while Clifton Terrace Model School, Queen Margaret College, Te Aro School, Fergusson Intermediate School and Evan’s Bay Intermediate School performed at Evan’s Bay Intermediate School on Thursday 8 November.

SGCNZ PPWS 2017 – As You Like It

Primary-age students from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Karori West Normal School, Clifton Terrace School and WHEN (Wellington Home Educators Network) put their fresh slant on SGCNZ’s Primarily Playing with Shakespeare 2017 (PPWS) production of As You Like It at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School on Tuesday 7 November 2017, 12.30-1.30pm.

SGCNZ PPWS 2016: Shakespeare & Henry Live at the Stadium

“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” 

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) was delighted to have presented its third Primarily Playing with Shakespeare production Shakespeare & Henry Live at the Stadium at the iconic Wellington Westpac Stadium. 

The ninety minute version of Henry V was performed by approximately 250 primary school age students, directed by their teachers, with mentoring by Co-Director appointed by SGCNZ, Ania Upstill. Eight primary schools and a homeschool group rehearsed their scenes independently and came together on Tuesday 8 November in the morning for their first run through. Their public performance began at 12.30pm. Westpac Stadium generously partnered with SGCNZ to facilitate this event, along with the British High Commission, as part of its Shakespeare Lives programme.

“How exciting to be performing in the Wellington Stadium and adding to all the war events which are on as well,” said young actor on the poster, Aidan Brooks Gillespie

Watch Shakespeare and Henry Live at the Stadium online here:

Through a grant from the UK’s Shakespeare Reactivation Fund, the performance was live-streamed to primary schools throughout the country.

 “Let your imaginary forces work!”

Aimed at young people from Years 1-8 and their teachers, this is a programme created to develop core skills as they embark on a journey of discovery.

Primarily Playing with Shakespeare is a vehicle for the students to experience the literary works of William Shakespeare through exploration of the text in a fun, imaginative and thematic way. It is also an opportunity for teachers of Year 1-8 students to explore their core curriculum through a new dramatic lens.

This programme started as a prototype in Wellington, to be replicated in other cities if and when desired.

Ania Upstill assisted SGCNZ to coordinate the joint performances by primary school students in the Wellington region for the past three years. In its inaugural year in 2014 SGCNZ’s Primarily Playing with Shakespeare invited students and adults alike on a magical trip into the forest of Athens with its enchanting production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The following year, primary students from five different schools, along with their audience, embarked on a turbulent journey with The Tempest, and in 2016 SGCNZ mounted its biggest Primary Playing with Shakespeare production so far when 250 primary school students battled each other at the Westpac Stadium in Shakespeare’s epic play Henry V.

Mentoring is available to teachers and students involved in the project, ensuring that the whole experience is not only fun, but also educational for all parties, and that the resulting production meets and exceeds audience’s expectations.


  • To foster Shakespeare in primary and intermediate schools
  • To build capability which advances the learning of both teachers and students
  • To demystify Shakespeare and lift his words off the page in a tangible way
  • To encourage young people to recognise their skills, and use them with imagination and creativity in the classroom
  • To envisage and explore realms around Shakespeare’s plays and their characters
  • To use specific tools and techniques as a “way into” any part of the curriculum
  • To develop another fun physical way to teach and learn
  • To work towards young people performing Shakespeare-inspired scenes in Artsplash


Students will be able to:

  • Experience bringing text to life
  • Engage with literary techniques and figures of speech at an early age
  • Find ways they can explore text in a physical way
  • Gain confidence and skills in the use of language
  • Advance communication skills
  • Enhance reading and comprehension
  • Promote performance skills
  • Develop self-confidence and esteem

Teachers will be able to:

  • Advance their knowledge of Shakespeare’s text
  • Further develop the use of exercises and tools to encourage imagination in both student and self
  • Apply techniques which allow students to take the text off the page and bring it to life
  • Gain confidence and skill in analysing text
  • Discover other ways to utilise drama to teach any part of the core primary curriculum.

This is NOT a competition, simply a showing of work in progress.

SGCNZ is grateful to the following supporters for helping to facilitate this programme: 

westpac-stadium-logo         british-council-logo

bhc-logo   wcc-2016        nzpostwb