As you’ve probably deduced from past posts I think everyone should be exposed to Shakespeare. My Shakespeare class is studying Twelfth Night, and last night we were able to go and see a production of the play at Cal Poly Pomona, which hosts the Southern California Shakespeare Festival. 6 guest actors joined 9 student actors for this production. If you are free next weekend you should check it out. (Check availability of tickets in advance as the show could be sold out.) It was performed in a small, intimate theater and had a fabulous cast, the perfect introduction for many of my students who had never seen one of Shakespeare’s plays performed. Twelfth Night is funny, quick moving, and although we’ve only worked through Act 1 in class, the kids (some as young as 9) didn’t have any trouble following the story and enjoying the antics of some of the more ‘out there’ characters.
At the end of the play we were able to stay and have a brief question and answer time with the cast. The kids got to hear a little more of what goes into putting together a production. All in all it was an enjoyable and productive evening. The kids are already asking about coming back in the spring to see Romeo and Juliet…so success. As I’ve said in a past post….’Every student is entitled to make the acquaintance of genius. Shakespeare remains a genius of outstanding significance in the development of English language, literature and drama. All students should have opportunities through practical experience, to make up their own minds about what Shakespeare might hold for them.’
While the kids enjoy studying the plays in class and playing with scenes themselves…nothing can replace going to see a performance. After all Shakespeare was meant to be watched, not read. So if you get the opportunity, GO!.
For those wishing more information about the Festival, here is a copy of their mission.
The mission of the Southern California Shakespeare Festival, SCSF is to establish a classical, professional repertory Theatre Company, dedicated to nurturing artists, student-artists and enriching the diverse community of the Inland Empire. SCSF endeavors to explore the eternal human questions seeking to enlighten and excite contemporary audiences with the timeless relevance of Shakespeare’s literature. We are committed to providing the Inland Empire with a professional theatre company of multicultural actors and students that will reach our audience.