Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Giving Me Life: The 2015 Secondary School Shakespeare Festival

SSF 2015
Secondary Shakespeare Festival 2015 (Photo: Katie Dvorak)

Greetings from our 34th Secondary School Shakespeare Festival!

It’s day two, and we’re just loving everyone’s joy, courage, and passion for language. Festival-goers are making friends and memories all over the place.

And we at Folger Education are convinced that we’re the luckiest people on earth: we get to watch inspiring young people perform and transform all kinds of scenes—a bloodthirsty Romeo and Juliet, a cleverly cartoonish Comedy of Errors, an artistic Pericles, a haunting and timely Julius Caesar… What powerful reminders of the enduring relevance of Shakespeare.

We’ve got  five more days of bliss, and we’ll be checking back in with more next week.  For now, enjoy this poetic reflection from the Festival’s famous Mistress of the Revels, Cam Magee:

“I dream of the festival on festival days. I may dream tonight of a pink-haired Hamlet, wild-haired witches, a red-haired Macbeth, a brave boy who learned the role of Duncan in an evening, actors entering as one character and leaving as another,  a turquoise-robed Ariel, a singing Stephano, an awkward love scene, a storm at sea, a chorus of Gowers, pirates, sweet-faced Dromios, a tiny angry Adriana, a kaleidoscope of colors only found in England, and Liam who loves buttons. I hope I dream of everyone because every one of you ‘gave me life’ today.”


One Comment

  • As an Drama Director, I loved every moment we spent at the festival. My student actors made new friends, took chances, shared the joy of acting and love of Shakespeare, and considered this one of the highlights of their high school career. It is not a day of competition – it is a day of love. My students have already visited with their new friends via facebook, twitter, and texting; perhaps the connections they made on that snowy day in DC will last a lifetime. I brought those wild hair witches, the red haired MacBeth, and that brave Duncan fill-in to the festival…and I want to say “Thank You” Folger for hosting this festival and for the love of students and the Bard.

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