MSUToday
Published: Nov. 7, 2019

Wharton Center hosts Shakespeare intensive for high school students

Contact(s): Kamryn Romano University Communications romanok2@msu.edu, Bob Hoffman Wharton Center office: (517) 884-3115 bob.hoffman@whartoncenter.com

High school students across mid-Michigan had the opportunity to immerse themselves in an authentic theater experience. The Shakespeare Immersion Project hosted annually by the Wharton Center accepts students with various areas of interest to come together and learn about Shakespeare through performance.

From Oct. 26 to Oct. 31, students worked with Stratford actors to perform at the Wharton Center on Nov. 1.

Students collaborated with artists from the Stratford Festival Theatre Company, who specialize in classic and contemporary theater with an emphasis on Shakespeare. The Wharton Center’s growing relationship with the Stratford Festival allowed a 45-minute workshop to blossom into a 30-hour intensive with a student showcase at the end.

This workshop focuses on language exploration, text analysis and character development through reflective writing exercises and theater activities.

Participants study Shakespeare while gaining experience in voice and diction, analyzing texts and ensemble. While learning key theater skills, students work on a rendition of “Hamlet” to perform at the Wharton Center at the end of the intensive.

“The most important part of this experience is what the students learn from the process,” said Bert Goldstein, program coordinator for The High School Shakespeare Immersion Project. “The performance at the end is just icing on the cake.”

The high school Shakespeare Immersion Project chooses from a diverse pool of students from rural, suburban and urban areas of mid-Michigan to ensure that there are opportunities for all to learn about and appreciate Shakespeare. Some participants are the stars of their high school performances and some have never been on stage before.

Schools represented in this year’s program:

Insight School of Michigan – Lansing

Morey Flextech High School – Shepherd

Dansville High School – Dansville

Potterville High School – Potterville

St. Francis High School – Traverse City

Lansing Christian High School – Lansing

Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy – Brighton

Davison High School – Davison

East Lansing High School – East Lansing

Garber High School – Essexville

Heritage High School – Saginaw

Grand Ledge High School – Grand Ledge

Olivet High School – Olivet

Marshall High School – Marshall

New Lothrop High School – New Lothrop