Shakespeares writing comes alive Roosevelt English students experience classics through acting

Cecil Giltz Published:

Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent recently hosted a week-long residency with the Great Lakes Theater Festival. The groups residency with Roosevelts freshmen and seniors in Tianne Donaldsons, Karen Barlows, and Leslie Leonards English classes increased students understanding of Shakespeare by approaching the play from an actors point of view.

The experience engaged and encouraged students in creative collaboration through participation with professional actors and with each other in the performance of key scenes.

They explored the connections between interpersonal and social issues relative to the plays and the students own experiences. Critical thinking skills were developed through discussions based on the textual material, said Donaldson.

According to Derek Koger, one of the visiting actors, The mission of Great Lakes Theater Festival is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience in Northern Ohio. Since the companys inception in 1962, programming has been rooted in Shakespeare, but the festivals commitment to great plays spans the breadth of all cultures, forms of theater, and time periods including the 20th century, and provides for the occasional mounting of new works that complement the classical repertoire.

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