Shaking up Shakespeare


A NEW and exciting way to experience Shakespeare is on offer.

Hosted by the Southland branch of the Speech Communication Association, the Shakespeare Workshop 2021 will be held at St John’s Girls’ School, Dee St, Invercargill, on Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9.

Open to anyone interested in drama or Shakespeare, as well as teachers and school pupils in Year 8 and above, the workshop’s main focus was to provide an opportunity for young people to learn about Shakespeare and his works in a new and fresh way, Speech Communication Association (Southland branch) chairwoman Julie Dawkins said.

“Everyone is welcome.”

Some aims of the workshop were to bring Shakespeare into the modern world, to take away the intimidating aspects which some people might feel about his works, and encourage people to see beyond the old English language and understand how his works were still relative today.

Participants would also have the opportunity to take part in role play and various acting parts, as well as playing with the language as spoken in Shakespeare’s era (1500-1600) compared to today.

With many years’ experience in acting, theatre, writing, directing, set design and reviewing, Glenda Pearce, of Auckland, knows how to bring Shakespeare’s characters to life.

A vibrant and passionate personality, Pearce was a popular keynote speaker at conferences and not only shared about Shakespeare, but also the education of the gifted and talented English students, creativity and adjudication of performance.

One of the highlights of her colourful career was studying performance and directing at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, a reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse The Globe which was originally built in 1599, which Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed in.

Dawkins, who had met Pearce in 2019, said she had taken part in a workshop Pearce had hosted.

“It was such a worthwhile workshop for the pupils that participated. I joined in… and she was fabulous.

“She brought it [Shakespeare] to life and the kids could relate to the characters, not only for Shakespeare’s time, but for our time also.”

With limited spaces at the two workshops, which would run from 10am to 4pm each day, it was recommended those keen to join in register as soon as possible, Dawkins said.

  • Registration costs $60 per person, with refreshments included. An enrolment form would be sent on application to or phone the chairwoman Julie Dawkins on 21 154 6546 or secretary Annette Dalziel on 0274 292 245.