Last week, hundreds of teenagers from ten schools came to the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts. After attending a nine-week intensive with Shakespeare’s plays, students performed in a four-day culminating performance known as the Fall Festival of Shakespeare.
Each year, Shakespeare & Company brings young theater practitioners to work alongside Education Artists and explore the character research, combat, costumes, dances, lights, props, rehearsal techniques, sets, and sound design that go into a Shakespeare production. Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman and Associate Director of Education Jenna Ware lead the program, which aims to foster celebration rather than competition.
The annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare is nine-week residency program at high schools throughout western Massachusetts and parts of neighboring New York State. Shakespeare & Company directors at each school lead nearly 500 students through a language-based exploration of a Shakespeare play, culminating in a full-scale production performed on Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse for the public. The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a crown jewel of our performance season. When these high-energy teenagers set loose the power of Shakespeare’s language in front of packed houses, the thrill is contagious. – Shakespeare & Co website
During the several weeks that the regional teens participate in daily scene rehearsal, they develop their skills in dance, performance, stage combat, and technical theater, as well as the business needs of management and marketing.
The Fall Festival began on Thursday, November 19 and ran through Sunday, November 22.