Tag Archives: viola

Happy campers, merry wives

From the Kids Love Shakespeare! website: Ursula, Hero and Margaret of Much Ado About Nothing

Before campers from Childsplay’s “Twelfth Night” summer class began last Friday’s performance for family and friends, teachers Katie McFadzen and Debra K. Stevens had them share a bit about the what they’d learned during the week together.

“I learned not to laugh at my sister,” shared a girl whose twin sister took the same class. The audience laughed, and one of the teachers asked how she did it. The girl explained that she simply acted as if the action taking place during their scene was really happening to them.

A boy noted that theater games played early in the week helped to lessen the “tongue-twister” effect of using Shakespearean language, and another camper talked about the poetic nature of Shakespeare’s plays — saying it was easier to recall her lines when she remembered that most of them rhymed.

Another boy explained what he’d learned about character development — explaining that changing how he walked and talked during his scenes helped him to be the character instead of merely act like his character.

A young girl talked about learning about the characters’ names. There’s “Viola,” the name of a musical instrument. And “Orsinio,” who delivers the now-famous “If music be the food of love, play on” line. His name, explained the camper, means “bear.”

From the Kids Love Shakespeare! website: Script for student production of Twelfth Night

One of the campers was excited about being able to enter middle school and high school with more knowledge of Shakespeare than other students. And all of the students did an amazing job of telling the “Twelfth Night” story with outrageous humor that really brought the play to life.

It made me want to see more performances of Shakespeare’s works, so I was delighted to come home to an e-mail announcing that NCM Fathom, Globe Theatre and Arts Alliance Media are presenting a four-part series of classical Shakespeare works (captured during 2010) in movie theaters this summer and fall. 

Event organizers note that “each performance will include a historical perspective on the Globe, the reconstruction process, the work of the Globe today, and a behind-the-scenes look at each production with interviews from the actors and creative team involved.”

Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series” starts Mon, June 27, with “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Come August and September, movie-goers can enjoy “Henry IV Part 1,” “Henry IV Part 2,” and “Henry VIII.”

Those of you eager to enjoy a bit of Shakespeare in cooler parts this summer have a couple of options. A family at the Childsplay “Twelfth Night” performance told me about the Shakespeare Santa Cruz festival, where you can blend your Shakespeare with a bit of time at the beach.

From the Kids Love Shakespeare! website: Lysander and Hermia of A Midsummer Night's Dream

I’m heading with Lizabeth later this summer to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah — where we enjoy the cool pines and small town ambiance. We’ll be attending six shows in three days, and taking in our favorite local sights, like the the Groovacious record shop, which always reminds me of our own Hoodlums Music & Movies here in Tempe.

I’m eager to enjoy a related art exhibit while we’re there. The Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of Southern Utah University currently houses both the “Southern Utah Art Invitational Summer Exhibit and Sale” and “The Costume Designers’ Art: 50 Years at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.” Admission is free and summer gallery hours are Mon-Sat 10am-8pm.

I’ve long dreamed of a similar exhibit of Childsplay costumes. But for now, I’m plenty content to just see the smiles on happy campers’ faces as they work their Shakespeare magic donning shorts and T-shirts with homemade costume touches like veils and liturgical garb.

— Lynn

Note: Images in this post are from “Kids Love Shakespeare!” — a website offering scripts for student productions, ideas for Shakespeare-inspired art activities and more. Click here to learn more.

Coming up: NYC in Scottsdale?, Nifty photo opps


Personal Perspectives: The Phoenix Youth Symphony

Guest blogger Brenna Goth

By Brenna Goth, Guest Blogger

Most students join the Phoenix Youth Symphony for a challenge. There comes a point when even the best of school orchestras can become dull for those pursuing music as a serious hobby. On Wednesday nights, all of these players converge at Central High School to share their common passion: orchestral music.

I was motivated to join PYS after my private viola teacher recommended it as the “next step” in becoming a competitive musician. I joined the program in seventh grade and was hooked until graduating from high school six years later.

My involvement in PYS became one of the most influential activities in my life.

Contrary to what you might imagine, PYS is not only for young virtuosos. In fact, many of us start with only basic training and a willingness to work. PYS is broken into four levels, and each focuses on developing orchestral skills. This way, students who enter with little experience can progress and “move up” throughout the years.

When I started PYS after three years of viola lessons, I didn’t know rehearsal techniques or how to play with a group. This wasn’t a problem, as I soon learned the ins and outs of following a conductor and leading a section and progressed through the various levels.

Many of the skills that I developed, like personal discipline and how to work in a group, have served me beyond the musical realm.

PYS promoted my personal growth but also gave me experiences that would’ve been impossible otherwise. I’ve played under influential conductors, worked with members of The Phoenix Symphony, and been critiqued by regionally known musicians.

I’ve played at Symphony Hall, the Orpheum, and Tempe Center for the Arts. I’ve performed concerts alongside the Phoenix Symphony and with professional soloists.

Finally, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to and perform throughout Washington D.C., Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy, and I can honestly say that some of the best memories of my life are from these tours.

PYS is as much social as it is musical. Throughout my six years, Wednesday nights became associated with good food and lively conversation in addition to orchestral repertoire. Every Wednesday, my PYS friends and I grabbed dinner to catch up before rehearsal, and sometimes we’d even have sleepovers afterwards.

Though our conversations spanned across all subjects, I instantly bonded with my fellow orchestra members over our common interest. I still value these friends, with whom I can gossip about Lady Gaga as well as discuss my favorite Dvorak quintets.

That’s not to say that I enjoyed every moment of my PYS experience. There were days when an impending essay seemed more important than rehearsing Mahler, or my Sundays were made stressful by a concert. And, of course, there were carefully prepared auditions that I bombed and times that my section was called out for being ill-prepared.

Despite these upsets, PYS has had a profound impact on my life. Though I’m not pursuing music at the University of Arizona, I am a member of the Arizona Symphony and plan on joining community orchestras throughout my life.

Because of PYS, I no longer see music in terms of hours spent in a practice room. Instead, I see it as a passion that’s integrated in all aspects of my life.

Brenna Goth is a freshman at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Since writing this post, Brenna has informed me that she’s joined  the “Arizona Daily Wildcat” at U of A as a news reporter. I look forward to reading her work.