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.”
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.
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.
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