KINGSTON —The English Department is working with Donna Devlin-Young (Founder and Producing Artistic Director) and Will Hammond (Executive Director) of Theatre Under the Stars during the month of January to put the “shake” back in Shakespeare. Sanborn’s Shakespeare Month is a four-phase exploration of all things Shakespeare. As Theatre Under the Stars says, “this ain’t your momma’s Shakespeare!”
Phase 1 began on January 6 when the entire student body took part in an authentic Shakespearean performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ performed by professional actors from Theatre Under the Stars. The students were encouraged to shout out “huzzah” and cheer when something on the stage delighted them and to boo and hiss at anything that displeased them. Sanborn students quickly learned that Shakespeare may be a lot of things, but he’s not highbrow and boring.
During phases 2 and 3 English classes are studying Shakespeare, his works, his impact on our language, a bit of history of Elizabethan England, and how Shakespeare influences our culture today (not just literature and theatre). Freshmen and sophomores are reading ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ while juniors and seniors are studying some of his other plays. As a supplement to the curriculum, every Sanborn student will take a hands-on workshop “Debunking the Bard” with Donna and Will where they will see how relatable Shakespeare really is. Students are finding out that Shakespeare was written to be performed, not to be read.
Phase 4 is an intensive month-long workshop for 20+ Sanborn students that will culminate in student performances of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for the surrounding communities: Fri., January 31 at 7:00 p.m. and Sat., February 1 at 3:00 p.m. All performances will be in the SRHS Auditorium. Donations gladly accepted.
For more information on the program, visit http://srhs.sau17.libguides.com/shakes.