Intermediate Theater Will Perform Shakespeare For English Classes

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A picture of the black box, where Intermediate Theater will present their scenes. In Macbeth, a spirit will appear near the archway in between the closed curtains and tell Macbeth his future. (photo courtesy of Blase Harriss)

On May 18 and 19, Leesville’s Intermediate Theater class will present select scenes from Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet to an audience of English classes.

The performance will take place in the black box using a “thrust” stage format, where the audience sits on three sides of the stage. The thrust format is typically a more intimate way of presenting a performance, as the audience sits closer to the actors.

Students in the class will each do one main scene as a speaking character while potentially also playing a supporting or background actor in another part of the performance.

The class will present these scenes to an audience of approximately 100 English students in the black box. On the first of the two performance days, the audience will be made of English 1 classes to see the scenes of Romeo and Juliet, and on the second it will be made of English 4 classes to see Macbeth.

Unlike other performances, these scenes will have no special or ornate costumes for the characters. Instead, every student will wear “basic blacks” —   all-black clothes with no brand markings or logos present. Only a few distinct outfit pieces, such as crowns and capes, will deviate from this standard. Props will still be present.

In the performance, the students will be reading both plays in their original Shakespearean language, making their lines harder for them to understand compared to modern, standard English. 

Dominic Hurley, the Intermediate Theater teacher, provided students with simple and modernized “No-Fear Shakespeare” versions of the script alongside the original Shakespearean dialogue to help students understand what they were saying.

Patrick Cook, sophomore, said, “[I’m] working on memorizing my lines, memorizing the blocking… [I’m not nervous], I’ve [performed] twice at DPAC on DPAC’s stage.”

Ellie Olson, sophomore, said, “I really like Shakespeare, I like reading Shakespeare, it’s definitely like more difficult to understand than modern English but I personally really like performing Shakespeare performances.”

“It’s kind of hard for me to act in front of audiences, but I really like acting, and since it’s a smaller audience I’m not too nervous about it but I’m just trying to… prepare myself for it,” Oslon said.

 

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