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Unitec Acting Students to Star in Pop-up Globe Youth Debut

Four Unitec students have been selected for starring roles in the Pop-Up Globe’s Youth Theatre production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, under the direction of Rita Stone.

7 June 2019

The third-year Acting students who will feature in the Youth Theatre debut are Joshua Bruce who will play Proteus, the conflicted Gentleman of Verona who betrays his best friend; Isabella Aarons who has been cast as waiting woman Lucetta; Tane Hippolite who will play Antonio, Proteus’ father and Tanya Corpuz who has been cast as Hostess of the inn.   

Their participation is supported by Unitec as part of a Performing Arts secondment project, where the students will spend the month of July in full-time rehearsals and performances.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1589 and 1593.  It tells the story of two men – Valentine and Proteus – who fall in love with the same woman, Julia.  The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behaviour of people in love.  It has the smallest cast of any Shakespeare play. 

The Pop-up Globe Youth Theatre Company is made up of young people aged 15-24, offering them the chance to work with the professional team at Pop-up Globe, and opening up the theatre’s stage and expertise to a new generation of theatre makers. 

Aspiring actors auditioned for the Winter Festival of Shakespeare productions last month.  Directors at the Pop-up Globe, who said they were looking for actors with a “positive, can-do attitude”, were overwhelmed with applications.

Dr Vanessa Byrnes, Head of the Creative Industries School at Unitec, said, “We’re delighted that such a large contingent of our students have been cast for the Pop-up Globe’s debut production of Youth Theatre.  The hands-on experience the students will gain on this secondment will be invaluable in their future careers, and is testament to the high standard of teaching and learning offered through our Performing Arts programme at Unitec. 

“The exciting, robust, and dynamic work happening at Pop-up Globe aligns with the kind of work that our students are ready to respond to with courage and talent,” Dr Byrnes said.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is on at the Pop-up Globe in Ellerslie on July 21.  

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