The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2795 Monday, 10 December 2001
Date: Friday, 7 Dec 2001 11:37:17 -0600
Subject: Re: High School Productions
I have to agree with John's "Cheers for amateur productions." I have
directed two full-length Shakespearean plays--Much Ado About Nothing and
Midsummer Night's Dream--in a small high school. For both productions, I
had over half of the student body either onstage or backstage. No, all
my actors were not great, but the overall effect was incredible. Most
importantly, my students learned to love Shakespeare--to feel somewhat
proprietary about him even, to have a vested interest in his work.
Further, I can name at least 2 who went on to become professional
musicians and composers, both of whom will tell you that they learned
the rhythm and music of language from memorizing and delivering
Shakespeare's lines. For both productions, we earnestly studied the play
in the classroom before taking it onstage. I wanted the students to
understand and appreciate it as a work of literature before attempting
to bring it to life. Once they had brought a play to life, they were
able to translate those skills back into the classroom for study of
Thus, I add my voice to John's and cheer the amateur productions.
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