Arts & Reviews

Shakespeare Festival

By: Julie Servidio

Who wants to get out of English Class for a day? If you do, you’re in luck. This year’s James Caldwell High School Shakespeare Festival is being held on April 25th. This Festival will take place in the CPA and all day long student volunteers will be speaking and performing as they celebrate the works of one of the greatest playwrights who ever lived, William Shakespeare. Students will be attending the festival during their English period, whenever that may be, and watching students give monologues, perform scenes and more. The festival began here at JCHS when the English department met and discussed having an event which highlighted Shakespeare as a subject. Mr. Lincoln, an English teacher at JCHS, spoke up and said that the idea reminded him of a Shakespeare Day at Maplewood High School, similar to the one in place now, where he was a student teacher. They all agreed that a Shakespeare festival which showcased not only the works Shakespeare created, but also the talent of students as well, was a phenomenal idea. These students are all volunteers with the exception of students from Mrs. Podvesker’s Speakers, Speeches, and Speaking classes who are required to be involved as an assignment for the class. There is no set performance list yet, but a few volunteers have stepped up to get on stage and share their passion for Shakespeare and for the theatre with the rest of the school.

Last year’s school musical happened to be Kiss me Kate, a play which is based off of Shakespeare’s work called The Taming of the Shrew, so it went hand in hand with the festival. This year a number of students will be performing scenes and monologues much like last year with hopes of making it even better than before.  A lot of planning goes into the festival to make sure that it stays engaging and entertaining as well as efficient. Mr. Lincoln commented, “The logistics of it can sometimes be difficult. Time management is really important but it’s a lot easier knowing that the entire English department is helping out and making it run smoothly.” This is only the second year that the department is putting on this show but they hope to make it an annual event.

When asked what he believes makes Shakespeare so timeless and well loved, Mr. Lincoln stated, “Everything Shakespeare writes speaks to the human condition. Centuries have passed, but once decoded, the characters, situations and how people feel show through and withstand the test of time.” Shakespeare was a master at his craft and combining his talents with that of students here at the high school into an all day event creates a spectacular thing to behold. Hopefully, the festival will go off without a hitch this year and for many years to come.