Several years ago I visited the Globe Theatre in London and a pop-up Globe in Auckland a couple of years ago.
And yesterday at our Probus Club, the speaker was Dawn Sanders, ONZM QSM. This talented former ballerina and theatre scholar is the founder and CEO of Shakespeare’s Globe Centre New Zealand.
The Shakespeare’s Globe Centres are international centres for theatrical education and for the promotion of the Shakespeare’s Globe in London, their nucleus organisation.
What had been described as Sam Wanamaker’s impossible dream, Came to fruition in 1996 when the Queen opened the rebuilt Globe Theatre on the South Bank of the Thames, on the site of the original theatre.
Sam Wanamaker visited New Zealand in 1990, and the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand was founded in Wellington the following year by Dawn Sanders. She received the 2006 Sam Wanamaker Award for her foundation of this centre.
To the reconstructed Globe, the Wellington Shakespeare Society contributed what are now called the New Zealand Hangings. “Between January 1990 and April 1991, 500 New Zealand women collaborated on the creation of four wall hangings for the Globe Theatre in London, England. The theatre was a reconstruction of William Shakespeare’s Globe near its original location in Southwark. The hangings are a combination of hand and machine embroidery, dye work and appliqué. The machine embroiderer is Barbara Hercus.” – from Te Ara” These tapestries were exhibited around New Zealand and in the US on the way to London before the theatre there was ready for them.
Dawn enthusiastically talked of the Annual Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival and the excitement generated by the students when they are involved. Of particular note is that it is not just white, upper class and privileged students being involved in the productions. Many Maori and Pacific Islands students enjoy the activities too. There is a programme called Primarily Playing With Shakespeare which brings Shakespeare to younger aged students.
A truly fascinating talk from a presenter who is totally absorbed with Shakespeare and so involved in the activities that one wonders when/how she has time for a husband and three children.
Of course, there is never enough time at these meetings. I am now on the lookout for other venues or clubs at which she may be speaking.