Shakespeare & Company, Inc.
February 28, 2011
As a teacher and Drama instructor at one of the high schools that takes part in The Fall Festival of Shakespeare, I can vouch for the enormous benefit of this program to our students. Over the nineteen years I have been involved, I have seen countless numbers of students get so excited about being in a Shakepeare play that they can't wait for school to begin in the fall because it means auditions and rehearsal for the Fall Festival will soon be starting. Many of our students take part in the Festival as they are older students because they have heard so much about it, but many others start as freshmen, some as actors and some as technical crew, and grow into larger character or technical roles as they mature and gain confidence. The day after the Festival finishes, when we have our final meeting at school, called closure, the students express very emotionally what being involved in the Festival has meant to them. It is a day filled with tears, but of the best kind, because the tears acknowledge just how pleased they are to have had this experience, and how much they will miss this very special magical feeling of being on stage with a completely appreciative audience and castmates who have rehearsed together to the point of virtuosity. This program has become the most important part of the performing arts calendar at Springfield Central High School, and is a large part of what helped our school identify itself as a magnet school for the Arts.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the effect being part of the Festival has on our Drama students and all of the students for the rest of the year. For many students, this defines them as high school students, giving them a peer group to eat lunch with in the cafeteria. I have also done considerable training with Shakespeare & Company myself, such as the month-long Institute in which I participated in 2002
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Give them more money so they could continue to do what they do and be able to build the Rose Theatre on the grounds of the property, a project which is currently stalled by lack of funds.
Volunteer & I am one of the two teachers involved as co-director of the plays and supervising the students for two days as we travel by bus from Springfield to Lenox, MA for the Festival itself. .
Review from Guidestar