Hundreds of area middle and high school students will take to the stage this month for the 15th annual Shakespeare Scene Festival.
The UALR departments of English and Theatre Arts and Dance will present the 2013 Shakespeare Scene Festival from 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12, in the University Theatre of the Center for Performing Arts.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The Shakespeare Scene Festival began in 1998 and brings together students from schools around central Arkansas to perform scenes from many of the bard’s plays.
“The Shakespeare Scene Festival provides an exciting opportunity for middle and high school students in central Arkansas to come together with the UALR community in celebration of the works of Shakespeare,” said Dr. Kris McAbee, assistant professor of English and the festival’s director. “The student performers are rewarded for their hard work of grappling with these difficult and profound texts by getting to perform them in the University Theatre in front of a large audience of their peers and community members.
“The festival also reminds us of the universality and timelessness of Shakespeare’s works. They are able to speak to the feelings, experiences, and concerns of Arkansas teenagers some 400 years after they were written.”
Classes from five area schools are participating in the festival. More than 500 students are expected to attend and participate in 11 performances. The works presented will include scenes from “Macbeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” and “Richard III,” as well as such creative adaptations as “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet.”
A performance of a Shakespearean scene integrates several elements of literacy and literacy education including an intensive study of the English language, cooperative learning, and process-based theatre as well as the discipline, creativity, and organization required to rehearse and perform a scene.
Each performance will last approximately 25 minutes.