Shortened Shakes Shine at District Fest

Kelly Pien, News Editor

As part of the annual district-wide Shakespeare festival, advanced drama students performed challenging 8 minute versions of various Shakespeare plays. The festival was held at Acalanes High School on January 28.

According to junior Lauren Raff, prior to the festival, students in advanced drama were placed in groups, chose a Shakespearean play, cut it down to only 8 minutes, and performed it for their 1st semester final. The same abridged pieces were then performed again at the festival.

Preparation started a month before the event with in-class rehearsals. “Cutting down the work is a long process. We start out and we have it cut down to 15 minutes, and then we just run it and work from there, and cut the scenes that are boring or uninteresting, and you end up having to really cut it down to the bones,” explained junior Nastasha McCullough.

Students memorized their lines within a week. The remaining rehearsal time was dedicated to blocking, which means turning stage directions into actual movements on stage.

According to Raff, participation in the festival included eating a group breakfast, playing warm-up games “to get to know new people,” observing several plays on the main stage, and eating lunch. Every group performed at either the main stage in front of the whole congregation, or in small groups.

According to McCullough the open category, in which groups perform anything they wish in addition to their Shakespearean play, was again a part of the event.

One of the open category entries from Camplindo was acomplete works of Shakespeare abridged into 8 minutes. “It was really funny,” said McCullough.

Lucasey said the purpose of the festival was to “study drama, and make friends, and show what we do in drama to each other.”

“It takes a long time to rehearse and even though I guess it’s short, I’m very bad at memorizing Shakespeare because his words don’t really make sense to me, unless you have to run through them over and over,” Lucasey added.

“I love it. Every year it’s so fun,” said Raff. “We dance together. We share creative ideas with each other. It’s really, really fun.”

“Both years were really fun and a great place to be creative, express your talent for drama,” McCullough said.