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Review for Montford Park Players, Asheville, NC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Montford Park Players (with assistance from the Bard himself, of course) is responsible for nurturing a generation of kids in the Asheville area who understand, respect, and love the works of William Shakespeare. By providing free, quality Shakespeare every weekend in the warm months in a lovely outdoor setting, they bring Shakespeare's works to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. I would never have bought tickets for my six year-old to go to a Shakespeare play, but I was willing to try letting him accompany me to free outdoor Shakespeare. The well-acted comedy captured his attention even though I'm sure he couldn't understand many of the words. It has been our tradition now for over six years to meet our friends and our sons' friends throughout the summer to see new plays. Now these kids have grown up with Shakespeare, and they are comfortable enough with the language to consider it fun. When the middle schoolers in our homeschool cooperative were asked what classes they wanted last semester, Shakespeare was a popular request. A favorite actor from MPP came as a volunteer to do a workshop with them. They staged and performed three scenes from Shakespeare plays and did a remarkable job. Now, they are beginning to form a Shakespeare club where they will do table reads and "pop-up" Shakespeare performances around town. Their interest in Shakespeare has led to learning in history, poetry, and other areas, as well. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities MPP provides us with every summer to experience Shakespeare and to use it as a way to share a love of language with our children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their community outreach efforts, especially with youth. It would be great to see the actors work more with middle-schoolers and high-schoolers who are interested in Shakespeare or to give performances or workshops in schools.

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Role:  General Member of the Public