In Term 2 this year, eighteen Year 10 students from both Loreto Kirribilli and St Aloysius College came together, to participate in a performance called, Shakespeare Bites. The plan was as follows – the audience would enter in the auditorium and be greeted with a ringmaster (thanks Seamus!), before seeing 18 actors onstage, each posed in ‘neutral’ positions, celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th birthday with a masquerade party. So with our gathered team, and a dedicated teacher, we began a set of 6 rehearsals spread over Term Two that aimed to end in a final performance for family and friends on a Saturday afternoon.
The program was put together by Voice and Speech teacher, Mrs Jacqui Field, to enhance drama students’ understanding of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, while developing various other skills as actors and directors. We were each paired up with someone from the opposite school, and were then allocated a scene from a well-known Shakespeaean play. These plays included, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’.
The program helped us to learn and develop our understanding of Shakespeaean language, by teaching us how to translate what we were reading, into language and emotions that both the other characters and audience could understand. This was vital, because in order to become our characters on stage, we had to understand what they were feeling and saying at all times. By the end we learnt just how special the stories are, and why they are so beautiful and famous. It was also incredibly interesting to realise how many lines from Shakespeare’s plays have,over time, become a part of our everyday lives.
Overall, the whole experience was one that none of us will ever forget, and this is because we learnt so much regarding a large aspect of literary and performance history, and we were able to develop many new acting skills; not to mention the fact that we had a lot of fun and made many new friends!
Maddie Gelagin, 10 Blue
Eliza Sheldon, 10 Purple