Students Coached by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Actors
Actors from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returned to campus to coach some of the ninth grade in Keeler Theater as they prepared to perform scenes from Romeo and Juliet. The performances and a bit of rehearsal are all available for viewing at http://wwwf.countryday.net/facstf/us/careyf/csc.htm.
The students spent the first hour of the visit in rehearsal, as the actors guided each group in exercises intended to get at the heart of the scenes chosen. Students preparing for the famed “balcony scene” explored issues of bridging space, working with literal and figurative barriers as they ran their lines. Those slated for the tense Act III duel explored tension by literally tightening a rope between characters in conflict. The students who had volunteered for the scene during which Juliet’s falsely dead body is discovered delved into emotions and relationships, focusing on tragedy and how it affects people differently. The second hour of the visit was dedicated to showcasing each group’s results, as the students ran their scene onstage, with resounding success.
This visit is the second of the CSC actors, and it wraps up our experiment with the Carey/Hammond humanities sections to see how ninth graders might benefit from working with practitioners. The engagement of the students during rehearsal and the impressive resulting performances have convinced us to make this experience available for all future CCDS ninth graders. We thank whole-heartedly the CSC actors, who were able to bridge brilliantly their craft and education. We thank, as well, Fred Carey whose relationship with the CSC made this possible.