On January 11th, 2017, two actors from Bard on the Beach came to our English 10 class to teach us about Shakespeare’s plays, how to decipher the language, and a bit about Shakespeare himself. It was an excellent experience to have professional actors reading the lines and demonstrating the scenes, as well as explaining the play “Much Ado About Nothing”. Both were very enthusiastic and passionate about their craft, and it became apparent very early on in the workshop as they had everyone on their feet and being interactive. We began each session with various warm-up activities, then were able to participate in the reading and acting of the plays. It was an enjoyable 3 days but perhaps my favourite part was watching others awkwardly get up in front of the class and perform lines of the plays, as well as creating tableaus of our ideas of Shakespeare’s 4 genres of plays; history, tragedy, romance, and comedy. On the other hand one aspect of the workshop I did not particularly enjoy was that at times it resembled more of a drama session than a Shakespeare lesson and the two actors did not explain the general plot of the play in much detail, instead focusing more on just the key characters, rather than how they interact with each other throughout the play. So although I still don’t understand “Much Ado About Nothing” because of the little plot information given, I did learn how to recite the lines properly and adjust my voice at the end of lines accordingly. One thing that the presentation did especially well was teach us students how to interpret the language used within Shakespeare’s plays and how to recite the lines properly. We also learned that the title of the play means a lot of fretting about gossip which is appropriate given all the deception and jealousy within the piece. Finally, my favourite activity within the workshop was one in which an individual plays the role of the king or queen, and the others must invent creative ways to please him or her so they will not be killed. It demonstrates the social hierarchy and the drastic differences between the rich and the poor in those times. In conclusion, it was a pleasure to take part in and I would gladly do it again.
(Tragedy tableau in English 10, Block C)