A one-page play entitled Dude, Bro helped 11th grade English students better appreciate Shakespeare in an interdisciplinary collaboration between the English and theatre departments. Juniors have been studying Shakespeare's As You Like It in anticipation of the theatre department's production, which opens on October 20. The English classes have been studying the play from a literary perspective and working as dramaturgs to create performance guides to help the audience understand the historical context of the play.
On October 3, Director of Theatre Mr. Kruhm led the girls in an interactive workshop, giving them the opportunity to bring the Bard's language to life and experience it as actors do. Dude, Bro served as an introduction to iambic pentameter (yes, it was in fact written in iambic pentameter), and to how actors can use accented and unaccented syllables in the meter to clarify the meaning of lines. They then moved on to physicalizing Shakespeare's language by stomping out accented syllables to learn how regular lines feel different than irregular lines. The workshop's focus on embodying Shakespeare's language made the students even more excited about the beauty and intricacies of the verse, and by the end of the workshop every student was actively engaged in figuring out how and why Shakespeare's poetry continues to be such an important literary phenomenon.
Tickets are now on sale for Westridge Theatre Presents: As You Like It, which runs from Oct. 20 -22. Buy your tickets online here.