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Telecom Inspiring Students With Shakespeare Online

Online company Telecom has created an educational website bringing Shakespeare alive for secondary school students. The Encore! website – – is packed with information about Shakespeare’s life and work, focussing on his great tragedy King Lear.

The site plays a key role in Telecom’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Actors Company’s innovative new production Leah, using the internet to enhance educational opportunities for young people and ensure the arts are open and accessible to a wide range of New Zealanders.

Leah, a large scale adaptation of King Lear, switches the gender of the central characters. The Telecom Season of Leah opens at Sky City Theatre in Auckland on 20 March 2002 and runs through to 7 April. The 21 performances will include four school matinees. As part of Telecom’s sponsorship lead actors in Leah will also conduct workshops for secondary schools in the Auckland area, which students will be able to attend free of charge.

Grant O’Neill, General Manager of the New Zealand Actors Company, says the website is a great asset for the company’s production and its commitment to sharing the excitement of live theatre with young New Zealanders.

“Like Telecom, the NZAC is committed to inspiring a wide range of New Zealanders to enjoy the excitement of live theatre. Not everyone will be able to attend our performances, but the website means that anyone, anywhere, can be a part of The Telecom Season of Leah.

“We had a similar partnership with Telecom supporting our touring production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2000 and 2001 with an educational website and school acting workshops. That was a huge success and we received really great feedback from schools.”

Jane Austin, Telecom’s General Manager Corporate Communications, says Telecom is committed to promoting the use of the internet to enhance educational opportunities for young New Zealanders and make the arts open and accessible to everyone.

“Telecom has long been a strong supporter of both education and the arts in New Zealand and we are delighted to be able to again combine the two in our sponsorship of The Telecom Season of Leah and the Encore! website.

“The Telecom Season of Leah’s school and matinee performances will provide low-cost family access to high class theatre performances. The school workshops will also inspire young people to engage with the arts and enjoy the excitement of live theatre.”


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