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

Ania Upstill is assisting SGCNZ coordinate a joint performance by primary school students in the Wellington region of scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These scenes will be performed at 1pm, Tuesday 4 November, Queen Margaret College, Wellington.

Information downloadable here.

Registration Form can be downloaded here. Deadline for submission 28 July 2014.

There will be mentoring available to teachers involved in the project.


  • 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 Shirley Keesing Trust Bequest, the Wellington Regional Airport Award, New Zealand Post and  Wellington City Council Arts & Culture Fund for help to facilitate this programme.