Most of us remember studying Shakespeare as either a moving literary experience or an uphill battle. In a time where a majority of read content is electronically delivered, it seems more important than ever for future generations to be introduced to these 450-year-old works, whose stories and comedy still ring true today. Many students find reading Shakespeare too difficult or out of touch, and The REP wants to fight that stigma. By bringing Shakespeare alive in the classroom and on the stage, The REP’s Shakespeare Unbound Program engages students with performances, teaming with their teachers, and workshopping the plays with the students.
The REP has already received enthusiastic support from local schools and parents for the Shakespeare Unbound program and the program is slated to roll out in the 2016 season, based on funding. The REP will present four adapted productions of Shakespeare’s plays at seven high schools in both Walton and Okaloosa counties over four semesters. The goal is to expose 16,000 students and their teachers to Shakespeare’s work the way it was meant to be experienced — live onstage. The four shows would be Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and a fourth title to rotate year to year, fulfilling the Florida Education Standards. After each production, the teaching artists will lead workshops with the students to enhance their understanding of the language and themes of Shakespeare’s plays. Essentially, the teaching artists help bring the Bard to life. The teaching artists will also work with teachers to help come up with creative ways to help overcome obstacles they face when teaching Shakespeare. A 10-week intensive Shakespeare workshop will also be held for interested students to foster a deeper and more creative connection with Shakespeare’s work, while providing the opportunity to work in a professional theatrical atmosphere. As students build their college resume, the Shakespeare Unbound program brings opportunities to college applicants looking to showcase their creative ambitions.
For more information about Shakespeare Unbound or to donate to the program to get it started, visit LoveTheREP.com under Get Involved.