Boston Theater Company Conducts Workshop at SHS

Shakespeare students bring characters to life on stage

Julia Pasini and Maggie O'Donnell

One of the highlights of this year’s new senior selective English class, Shakespeare: Here and Now, was an acting workshop led by professionals from the Boston Theater Company (BTC).  The workshop, which took place in the Performing Arts Center on Monday, December 3rd, encouraged students from Paul Scavotto’s class to take a deep dive into The Taming of the Shrew with BTC’s Educational Director, Sophie Rich, and Managing Director, Marge Dunn.  Their workshop spreads the teaching of Shakespeare to students all across the country.

The program started with acting warm-up exercises for the purpose of boosting student confidence and making the class comfortable. These activities encourage students to be more open with their classmates and exhibit their best work. Between static stretching and vocal exercises, everyone in the class was really involved right from the beginning.

From there, students learned how to get in character. Among other skills, students practiced portraying a character by walking in a specified way based on a situation expressed by Rich. Students then followed up with movements of characters pertaining to The Taming of the Shrew. Students volunteered to get up on stage and act like a certain character by doing a movement that would help explain that character.

Many students appeared to enjoy the experience, as it translated the content in the curriculum to a real-life stage. When asked for his impressions of the workshop, Scavotto commented, “I liked the way students responded to the interactive nature of the workshop.”