Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Introduction and Interest in Shakespeare Among Young Actors

This blog is meant to chronicle the experiences of the American Shakespeare Center's Department of Education interns. As an intern for ASC's Department of Education, it will be my task to explore the different facets of ASC, and to learn how everything here comes together. My name is Elizabeth Reams, and over the next several weeks I will be doing just that, starting with the events of my very first day at ASC.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of observing rehearsals for both ASC’s production of John O’Keefe’s Wild Oats and the Young Company Theatre Camp’s production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Although the two acting companies differed in their level of experience, it struck me that there was no difference in the level of engagement in the text. YCTC actors performed with as much enthusiasm as ASC’s resident company, and if any of the students were not quite as comfortable with the text as the more experienced actors, I never noticed. Both the professional and the student actors brought to their performances a high level of energy, drawing me as an audience member into their world and making me as excited about the play as they were.

I was particularly pleased to see the YCTC actors so involved in Shakespearean performance. To see such young actors be so eager about performing Shakespeare proved to me that Shakespeare’s plays are both accessible and enjoyable for audiences and actors of many different age groups. It is a testament to the enduring quality of his plays that there are groups of young actors still keen to perform them. From what I observed of the YCTC actors’ performances, I am sure that with further study they will grasp the text with as much ease as their professional counterparts. Their level of passion, however, is hardly wanting, and it was a treat to see them perform.

Elizabeth Reams

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