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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1530  Thursday, 15 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Rolland Banker <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 17:46:26 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools

[2] 	From: 	Susan St. John <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 18:54:52 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1500 Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Rolland Banker <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 17:46:26 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 	Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools

Jodi D. Clark asks,

"I am currently working on a project regarding the pedagogy of _A 
Midsummer Night's Dream_ and have run across a fact that consistently, 
this play is one of the most performed plays in high schools, ever.  Why 
is that?  What elements about it lend it to being so agreeable to high 
school productions?"

ANSWER:   PUCK

An original country folk character with a name that matters.

It's so easy becoming adept at Shakespearean analysis.

Best cheers,
Rolland Banker

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Susan St. John <
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 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 18:54:52 -0700
Subject: 16.1500 Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1500 Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools

Jodi D. Clark asks "What elements about [Midsummer] lend it to being so 
agreeable to high school productions?

First - it deals with young people falling in and out of love, and 
defying their parents.  This is a topic that high schoolers are already 
experts in!

Second - the fairies are wide open to interpretation so the director can 
go wild, and give a lot of actors the chance to get some stage time 
without feeling like they are 'only a spear-carrier'.

Third - there are essentially four stories going on (Duke/Hippolyta, 4 
lovers, rustics, and faires) - a big cast but only a few rehearsals that 
actually need a large numbers of students in attendacne.  This is very 
attractive to a high school director!

Fourth - it is SHAKESPEARE so it makes everyone feel oh-so-very 
educational, yet it is fun and funny and light entertainment for the 
audience.

Fifth - Many drama teachers are just as afraid of Shakespeare as their 
students are, so they go with what they know, which is the one Shakes 
THEY did in High School!  It's a Catch-22, self-propagating circle :-)

That's the opinion of THIS High School Drama teacher.  I am currently 
directing TEMPEST myself.  I've taught high school for 12 years and in 
that time our school has produced MND twice (not directed by me though). 
  It's a good one and the kids love it...but our students have also 
produced Macbeth, 12th Night, Two Gents, and R&J, and 
read/studied/worked on characters and scenes form Winter's Tale, Shrew, 
and Othello.  AND we compete at the Utah Shakespeare Festival's high 
school competition every year.  I like to think that I am training 
well-rounded Shakespearean actors and scholars!

Susan St. John

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