×

All The World’s A Stage- Project Shakespeare’s Triumphant Return From England!


Friday, September 07, 2018 1:1PM
JaffreyAll The World’s A Stage- Project Shakespeare’s Triumphant Return From England!

All the world is a stage for Project Shakespeare’s cast of Romeo and Juliet, whose recently gave two performances on August 12th  at The Dell, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre on the banks of the Avon in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. They were enthusiastically received by crowds of 125 people very familiar with the Bard’s work.  But it could have turned out very differently and the company had one big surprise not in their plans.

“England had 2 months of warm, sunny weather prior to our arrival,” explains Founder and Director, Deborah Shakespeare Thurber, “but more typical English weather landed when we did.  It was cool and rainy. A Project Shakespeare parent and board member had made arrangements for the group to visit The Shakespeare Schoolroom and Guild Hall  (where Shakespeare actually went to school).  She told them why we were in Stratford and they invited us to do a scene for the other visitors.  We performed in the classroom where Shakespeare would have seen his first play.  It was quite exciting!  In light of the rainy Sunday forecast I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask if we could do the entire play in the schoolroom and they said yes! The students walked back to the hotel, got into costume, walked back through Stratford in costume and performed that afternoon for other visitors.  In Shakespeare’s day, touring companies had to present their play for the town officials who then granted permission for any further performances.  Keeping with that tradition, the director of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom asked the audience if Project Shakespeare could perform Romeo and Juliet in Stratford.  It was an enthusiastic yes! The next day, Sunday, we got both performances in at The Dell despite the forecast.  The students presented three brilliant performances!  I couldn’t be more proud.”

Students participating in this trip were:  Kali Zaffrann, Grace Ramsden, Tor Petrov, Arianna Wentworth, Anna Taylor, Connor Ahern, Aiden Lanphier, Abigail Hampson, Helen Martynuska, Gabrielle Ramsden and Indigo Wolf. Here are some of their reflections:

“Having the opportunity to perform in the same town William Shakespeare lived in was a truly incredible, though kind of overwhelming feeling. It was also extra special to have another spontaneous performance in the actual room Shakespeare went to school and saw his first play! I completely fell in love with beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon. Other than performing, touring the RSC was absolutely another highlight! I loved seeing the stage, set, costumes, wigs, props, fake blood, etc, and seeing a professional theatre company put on a show while learning about the production behind it. Then, in London, Othello was spectacular and being inside The Globe Theatre was breathtaking. I also really enjoyed the workshop we got from a professional actress. Going to England overall was a spectacular trip! I learned so much and I am so grateful I was able to go, and well as go with a great group of people! I can’t wait until my next trip to England!” --  Grace Ramsden, Age 18  Conval High School.

“I had a wonderful time in England. I made many new memories on this trip and I learned a great deal, not only about how theater is done professionally, but I also learned how things could be different between two countries.  I found it endlessly fascinating.” -- Aidan Lanphier, Age 15 Homeschool Student.

“Performing in England was something I never could have dreamed of, and the whole experience felt seriously unreal, yet I was utterly present in every moment. I will remember every amazing detail of that trip.” – Kali Zaffrann, Age 15  High Mowing Waldorf School

“The trip to England was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to learn a lot of theater performance techniques and see the highest tier of theater. I got to hang out with my friends at the most iconic places in England. I enjoyed every minute of it.” – Arianna Wentworth, Age 16, Conant High School

“Our trip to England was an eye opening experience that I will be sure to remember for years to come. I was extremely impressed by the use of the space at the Globe theatre. The choreography in Othello blew me away and left me wanting more, as well as the acting. When we went on our tour of Royal Shakespeare Company’s, The Other Place theatre, I learned that so many iconic European actors and actresses had performed there which I found quite inspiring.” – Helen Martynuska  Age 13  Jaffey-Rindge Middle School

Following their Stratford performances, the group toured the Royal Shakespeare Company’s two theatres and saw a performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor.  They then said goodbye to Stratford and travelled to London where they participated in an acting workshop led by a Globe Theatre actor and educator, saw a Sword Fighting Demonstration, and went to a performance of Othello.

Angela and Russ Ramsden of Hancock sum up the success of the trip when they say, “We are so grateful to Project Shakespeare for the amazing opportunity for our daughters, ages 12 & 16, to travel to England this summer to perform Romeo & Juliet in Stratford-Upon-Avon. We turned it into a family trip and were richly rewarded with an unforgettable experience at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Globe Theatre. But, the icing on the cake was definitely watching our talented group of students, including our children; perform on The Dell Theatre’s outdoor stage, with the Avon river in the background and a large crowd from all over the world enthralled by their storytelling. Finally, best of all, our group had the quality time together to bond and grow which will greatly benefit them throughout their lives. Thank you to all of Project Shakespeare’s supporters for making this dream become a reality.” 

For more information about Project Shakespeare visit our web site projectshakespeare.org.