MSUToday
Published: Nov. 6, 2009

Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada residency at Wharton Center

Contact(s): Bob Hoffman Wharton Center office: (517) 884-3115 bob.hoffman@whartoncenter.com, Angela Minicuci University Relations student writer office: (517) 355-2281 angela.minicuci@ur.msu.edu

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity have partnered with internationally renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada for a series of annual teaching and performing residencies.

The first residency took place Nov. 2-6, providing students and community members with opportunities to meet professional theater artists – many of whom have performed on Stratford’s stages. They also gained insight into the creative process and explored the works of classic playwrights through master classes and lecture demonstrations.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival residency expands on Wharton Center’s tradition of offering a diverse array of educational opportunities to enhance the understanding and appreciation of performing arts.

“It’s not just about his text; it’s about the world of literature in general and what that opens up for students,” said Edward Daranyi, assistant director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. “What we’re trying to do is expand horizons and keep students’ imaginations working.”

Members of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival trained 27 high school students from across mid-Michigan in Shakespeare by studying Shakespeare’s “MidSummer Night’s Dream.”  The Shakespeare Immersion Project students worked closely with Stratford Shakespeare Festival actors on voice, verse, stage movement, text analysis, exploring the language and examining character.  Students also kept journals and engaged in reflective writing.

The residency concludes at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 with Shakespearean scenes and soliloquies performed by the students for family, friends and school officials on the Pasant stage at the Wharton Center.

“I was amazed these guys wanted to come down here and teach us Shakespeare,” said Garrett Main, a participant in the Shakespeare Immersion Project and sophomore at Dansville High School. “I was glad this partnership actually gave them that chance.”

Additional workshops will also be offered at the Wharton Center Nov. 7-8. A “Teaching Shakespeare” workshop will be offered for sixth- through 12th-grade teachers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 7. To register, contact Wendy Robinson at (517) 244-1281 or wrobinso@inghamisd.org.

An “Acting Shakespeare” adult workshop is planned from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 8 in Wharton Center’s Christman Lounge.  It is open to the public, but space is limited. To register contact Dustin Boehmer at (517) 884-3130 or boehmer3@msu.edu.

Stratford is North America’s largest classical repertory theater. The Stratford Festival's residency at MSU is sponsored by Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, ACSUS Fund for the Arts, with the support of The Department of Foreign Affairs Canada, College of Arts and Letters, Honors College, Residential College in the Arts & Humanities.

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Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity have partnered with internationally renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada for a series of annual teaching and performing residencies.

Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity have partnered with internationally renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada for a series of annual teaching and performing residencies.

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