SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2019
In February, students from the second year participated in the Shakespeare Festival in the Burrell Theatre. The aim of it is to give younger students an insight into Shakespeare plays that is both interactive and enjoyable for the students. This way of learning a play through performance is a unique way for students to begin to develop an understanding of Shakespeare that may prove useful and memorable later in life. It is also a chance for students who are interested in drama to begin exploring their interests in performing, which may give them an idea of where they would like to go in the future. Students described the experience as something they ‘really enjoyed’ as it really gave them ‘a chance to express themselves’. Self-expression and the ‘chance to be someone else’ was something the students seemed to really enjoy and connect with. This is part of what makes the Shakespeare Festival such a positive experience; it gives all students a chance to express themselves and develop interests in fields they may not have previously been aware of. The students also commented on the benefits of working in groups, as it also gave them a chance to see how others in the class took on their respective roles. By witnessing their peers’ different interpretations of roles the students were offered a unique way of viewing aspects of various attributes of characters in different ways. This allowed for a perfect introduction into Shakespeare, as the students enjoyed the fact that it was ‘a different kind of lesson’ in which students could benefit from an interactive group environment.
Students were also challenged to develop projects on the plays their form performed. This was a ‘different way of learning’ for students in which evaluation skills can be honed and a further understanding of the plays can be developed through research. The Shakespeare Festival is such an enriching experience for students, not only for the introduction to Shakespearean literature, but for the benefits of group work. It is a unique and enjoyable way for students to learn about a play and begin developing their own well-rounded ideas and opinions, and introduces students to areas of their studies, such as evaluative responses, that will prove useful later on. It is an incredible chance for students to express themselves through performance, which is a big part of why many students find it to be such an enjoyable experience.