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

SGCNZ TGG 2013 Alum Katherine Fuller is assisting SGCNZ with coordinating a joint performance by primary school students in the Wellington region in which each school involved will take a different scene from one of Shakespeare play. The scenes will be performed for the public in late June 2014.

There will be mentoring available to teachers involved in the project. Thanks to the Shirley Keesing Trust Bequest and the Wellington Regional Airport Award for helping this venture take place.

On application to SGCNZ, subsidies are available each year for a limited number of workshops and/or mentoring by our approved experienced tutors.


  • 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.


The Shakespeare for primary schools component of Artsplash is being embraced within the drama section as a showcase for schools engaging in this programme.


  • Scenes may be derived from or based on more than one play. Use of imaginative and creative approaches of the themes and characters is encouraged rather than straight scenes.
  • Each scene must contain minimum of 3 people
  • Scenes are to be between 5-7 mins in length
  • 2 mins allowed for setup/strike (elaborate set elements are not encouraged)
  • Use of music elements such as singing and instruments (preferably live)
  • The scene can utilise dance components
  • Ethnicity and cultural exploration of language, themes, music, movement and stories are options
  • Indicative not elaborate costuming
  • Enrolments must be made to Artsplash in the usual manner by the end of February
  • $75 Fee payable to Artsplash

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

SGCNZ is grateful to the Shirley Keesing Trust Bequest and the Wellington Regional Airport Award for help to facilitate this programme.