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Why Shakespeare in 2023

Shakespeare is an immensely important part of theatrical culture. His plays have been adapted into countless musicals, plays, and movies - showing the evident timelessness of his stories. Though most people, and even some theater people, think Shakespeare is boring and daft and hard to sit through.

I admit, Shakespeare is an acquired taste. The flowery, fluid language is intimidating and an incredible mouthful. It’s even harder to perform due to the complexity and seeming obscurity of the meaning. However, I think Shakespeare training is incredibly important for any actor, especially those who want to perform on stage.

So this summer I am participating in an intensive Shakespeare program.

The only Shakespeare production I have ever done was Taming of the Shrew. In my role as Bianca, I was challenged as I had never been before. It is the most transformative and difficult I’ve ever played, as it was so far removed from all other acting work I’ve done. Even though Bianca's part is relatively small, I had to perform with an elegance and preciseness that did not come easily. When every line that comes out of your mouth is carefully written poetry, you have to learn how to balance doing the lines justice with performing the heightened emotion stage performance requires, as well as the intellectual understanding of what the layered text is trying to convey. In this is an incredible challenge that makes for incredible reward once you can grasp each concept and how to meld them together. Further more, I believe Shakespeare is the backbone of all theatrical works, and if I can improve or eventually master the way I convey his work, my skills as an actress overall will dramatically improve.

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