Keagan Fransch – 2013

Keagan moved to New Zealand from Zimbabwe in January 2004 and enrolled in Timaru Girls’ High School. There she was lucky enough to have Drama as one of her subjects (“Drama as a subject was unheard of in Zimbabwe!”), and as such was able to compete in the 2004 SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Festival for Shakespeare in Schools Regional Festival with her Drama class. From there she was selected to be a participant in the National Shakespeare Schools Production 2004 where she met and learned from wonderfully diverse and exciting students and mentors!

Keagan was also fortunate enough to be selected for the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2005 and had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Globe and Stratford upon Avon.

After studying at university and obtaining a degree in Theatre Studies and Psychology, Keagan auditioned for and was accepted in to Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. During her training, she had a chance to play exciting roles such as Leonato in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Sam Byck in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins, and recently Mother Teresa in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. During her third year at drama school, and as part of the course internship period, Keagan travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio to work with director Timothy Douglas on the Horton Foote play The Trip to Bountiful, which was performed at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in March 2013.

As her first year out of drama school, 2014 was an exciting and challenging year for Keagan. She began the year by playing Titania in the Bright Orange Walls production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream  in the Wellington Fringe Festival. She then performed her solo show, Waiting for GoDoor, in a season at BATS Out-of-Site in Wellington, and at The Basement Theatre in Auckland. She also had roles in various film projects across the year, and workshopped a stage piece in collaboration with Le Va, an organization dedicated to the mental health education and care for Pasifika peoples. She has not only begun to write her own work this year, but has also enjoyed working with a number of up and coming writers and directors in Wellington, collaborating on their works. Shakespeare has of course continued to be a large part of Keagan’s life; she has directed a couple of teams for the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival 2014, and she played Othello in the Lord Lackbeard’s touring production of Othello. She has a few exciting projects in the works, and is looking forward to what 2015 brings!”

“These years were such a rewarding time for me, rich in learning, and the incredible generosity of Chris Parkin and the kindness of Dawn Sanders meaning that I could continue my journey at drama school without needing to worry about taking time away from my learning to sustain a part-time job.”

In 2015

– I had a supporting role in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon

– I performed in the play A Servant to Two Masters at Circa Theatre

– I performed a recurring role in a fiction podcast with Jemaine Clement and Lawrence Arabia, directed by Duncan Sarkies, titled The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium

In 2016

– I co-directed a production of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening

– I had a supporting role in the popular new NZ webseries Two Naked Gay Guys

– I performed in the Spanish Carnival installation Architectura de Feria as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival

– I have been accepted into the Master of Arts in Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and have been fundraising to raise money for tuition fees and living costs, and will hopefully be able to attend in 2017.