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James Loehlin, Director 208 West 21st Street, Stop B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4726

6th Annual UT Children's Shakespeare Festival

Participants of UT's Shakespeare Outreach program conclude their study with special performance.

Posted: May 5, 2011
Children bring Shakespeare to life at last year's annual UT Children's Shakespeare Festival.

Children bring Shakespeare to life at last year's annual UT Children's Shakespeare Festival.

AUSTIN---Brush up your Shakespeare – the sixth annual UT Children’s Shakespeare Festival is just around the corner!  More than 450 Texas students in grades 3-6 will take the stage on the University of Texas campus May 12-13 to share what they’ve accomplished this year as part of a unique UT educational outreach program.

These young Shakespeareans and their teachers have been working since fall with UT Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach, housed in the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin.  The program gives young students a head start on Shakespeare through a “page to stage” process of exploration, hard work, and play.  Their hands-on experience with the English language’s greatest playwright will culminate in public performances at the B. Iden Payne Theater in the Winship Drama Building on May 12 and 13 from 11am to 1pm.  

UT Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach is funded primarily by grants and donations and its primary focus is on providing an empowering educational experience for students in grades 3-6 from schools in disadvantaged or low-income communities.  This year’s participating groups are from Cowan, Galindo, Pease, and Zavala elementary schools in Austin; Sommer Elementary in the Round Rock ISD; Converse Elementary in Converse; and from ACE Academy in Austin.  Performances are open to the public and there is no admission charge.  

Beyond providing these students a unique and positive opportunity to visit the University of Texas campus, the event is a chance for students to experience Shakespeare’s stories from the inside, by playing them out on a stage, just as his troupe of players did four centuries ago.

“I think for many of the students, this public performance is an awakening,” said Clayton Stromberger, Program Coordinator of Shakespeare Outreach.  “It’s the first time they really understand, physically and emotionally, the power of Shakespeare's words.  In addition, it’s a huge confidence boost for them, one we hope will assist them as they head off to the challenges of middle school.”

Many of the same groups performed on Saturday, April 30, in the Winedale Theater Barn at the annual Winedale Festival of Play.

Reservations are recommended due to limited seating.  To find our more, contact Liz Fisher with the UT Shakespeare at Winedale program at lfisher@mail.utexas.edu or (512) 471-4726.

To learn more about this event or Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach, please visit www.shakespeare-winedale.org, or email UT Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach Program Coordinator Clayton Stromberger at cstromberger@mail.utexas.edu.

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