Woodford House News: Student Success

Earlier this year, Year 13 student Steph Goodwin won first place for an original piece entitled ‘Madness’ in the Music Composition category at the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in Wellington. In October, Steph gained another amazing achievement by receiving selection as a member of the SGCNZ 2019 Young Shakespeare Company.

As part of this selection, Steph will travel to London next July on a study and performance tour to work with leading tutors and directors overseas, as well as see some of England’s best theatre practitioners and experience first-hand Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Steph will participate in workshops, talks, Q&A sessions about the plays with actors and directors, behind the scene tours of the Globe, Rose and National Theatre, watch performances and rehearse at the world renowned Globe.

Alongside 23 other members of the Young Shakespeare Company (YSC), Steph will take part in rehearsals taken by a Globe Director in scenes from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The Company will then have the amazing opportunity to perform for the public on the Globe stage.

The selection process to become a member of the 2019 SYC was based on the week-long involvement Steph had with the SGCNZ’s National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP) earlier in the year. A selection panel, including three leading New Zealand Directors, high-calibre Workshop Tutors, and all other affiliated personnel, evaluated the 48 students and selected an exceptionally talented group of 24 students to represent New Zealand.

All members were chosen not only on their artistic merits, but on qualities of compatibility to ‘mesh’ as a group, their ability to relate well to all age groups, and being ‘sponges’ who will develop from the opportunity and are willing to give back to the community on their return.

The process to become a member of the Young Shakespeare Company has been an amazing experience and journey for Steph:

I was so excited to be a part of the SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP), it was one of the best things I have ever done. I remember receiving so much love and support from the incredibly talented actors, costumiers, directors and organiser. As the composer I would dabble and create music for each group, which enabled me to get to know every group and member in the SGCNZ NSSP. I was amazed by each individual’s abilities and their sense of knowing who they were.

 I gained a huge amount of experience from the week of SGCNZ NSSP. I composed for three plays, and each play looked amazing on stage by the end of the week. The week was life changing and rewarding for us as young passionate composers, actors and costumiers. Not only did it help me improve my composing abilities, management and confidence, but I also made 47 best friends.

 For me, being selected in the 2019 Young Shakespeare Company gives me hope for achieving my dream to be a successful and inspiring person in the arts industry in New Zealand, and possibly global. Now I have an eagerness to take on the world with my artistic abilities. This experience will help me work towards my dreams and future career, and I’m looking forward to spending time with the 24 talented actors once again. I’ve never been overseas further than Australia so I can’t wait to see London!”