Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This past weekend saw a long-time dream come true for our Education Department: Saturday and Sunday afternoon, two performances wrapped up our first-ever Residency Festival featuring high school students from the Metro Atlanta area. These performances marked the culmination of in-school Residencies that we began in January at two member schools of the Atlanta Public Schools system. The resulting two student productions joined this weekend to create His Voice, Our Voice: A Shakespeare Residency Festival.
An ASC Residency is an intensive eight-week process that allows our top Education Artists to work closely with students after school for hours every day, over an extended period of time. These eight weeks of fun and creative exploration provide participants with training not just in acting basics, safe stage combat, and Elizabethan history, but also in such critical workplace skills as time management, effective communication, the ability to work as part of a team and to see a project through to completion, and self-confidence. A Residency closes with participants performing their own production of a Shakespeare play, both for classmates in their school’s auditorium and on our own professional stage.
The participants in this year’s Residencies at Therrell High School and Carver School of Technology worked hard for eight weeks to put these productions together—and it showed. The final performances on the Tavern stage of Carver’s Macbeth and Therrell’s Midsummer Night’s Dream gave these teens a chance to shine in the spotlight and to speak some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. But the students brought their own personalities to the productions: the words might have been Shakespeare’s, but the attitude, passion and voices were distinctly their own (the spectacular step routine performed by Oberon’s fairies brought down the house!) That, in a nutshell, illustrates why we call it His Voice, Our Voice.
Our 'nefarious plan:' we’d love for this Festival to become an annual event involving more and more schools from Atlanta, both public and private. Here’s hoping!
Check out the gorgeous photos of these two productions on the Atlanta Public Schools website here: http://www.apsk12.org/media/Photo_Gallerys/ShakeSP-2010/index.html
posted by Kristin