The Phoenix Fire

Shakespeare in the Courtyard

Cherlin Ng, News Reporter

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May 17th, 2019, marks the final performance of Shakespeare in the Courtyard at Kennedy Jr. High. This yearly performance took place every spring in the past, with rotating Shakespeare plays. Directors Mrs. Kulik and Mrs. Barr have chosen The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) this year, which is a comedy comprised of every one of Shakespeare’s works. This means that each of the thirteen cast members have multiple parts of various lengths.

Gloria, one of the cast members, says she “was happy and also felt a sense of responsibility” when she found out that she got into the production. She also mentioned that she felt glad to act in The Complete Works because she gets to “act with a bunch of people and just have fun.” This was the exact intention Mrs. Kulik had in mind when she started this club decades ago at Kennedy. There was a Shakespeare club in her old school, and when she came to Kennedy and saw the courtyard, she decided to bring it to this school as well. This year’s experience also serves as a learning opportunity about Shakespeare, since it covers the entirety of his works.

The production process this year started with an audition, where two different scripts were available to try out with. After the cast was posted, the hard work began. A cold reading, a read through of the entire script, was first on the agenda. The casting of the parts came next. Since there are dozens of different characters, it was easier for Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Kulik to assign parts as they go. This was all done in the warmth of the pod while they waited for the weather to warm up. Currently, the cast members and directors are blocking scenes, where the actors focus on one scene at a time, and stage directions are integrated. Halfway through this, the production will transition out into the actual courtyard to fine tune the stage directions. The final step, after a vigorous process of practice and memorization, is to perform the show for fellow students, teachers, and parents.

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Shakespeare in the Courtyard