UT Children's Shakespeare Festival
7th annual showcase of performances by Shakespeare Outreach students.
Posted: March 14, 2012
Brush up on your Bard– the seventh annual UT Children’s Shakespeare Festival is right around the corner! Over 300 elementary-age students from the Austin and Round Rock school districts will take the stage on the University of Texas campus May 9 & 10 to share what they’ve accomplished this year as part of the unique Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach program.
Since the beginning of the school year, these young Shakespeareans have been exploring Shakespeare’s language and characters using an approach developed over the past 42 years at the University of Texas in the Shakespeare at Winedale program, located in the Department of English and the College of Liberal Arts. Both the university-level program and the Outreach program for youth use a “page to stage” process of active study, in which Shakespeare’s texts are examined through his native medium, live performance.
“The festival is a celebration of Shakespeare's language, his characters, and of the Shakespeare at Winedale ensemble approach to playing together as a way of opening up these amazing texts,” said Outreach Program Coordinator, Clayton Stromberger. “It’s also a great opportunity for the students to feel a new connection to the UT campus. They may have visited the university before on a field trip, but this is probably their first opportunity to perform on one of its stages. It's wonderful to see the students take the big B. Iden Payne stage like they own it.”
The UT Children’s Shakespeare Festival will feature scenes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Julius Caesar,” “A Comedy of Errors,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “King Lear.” Participating in this year's festival are classes from Cowan, Galindo, Oak Springs, Ortega, and Zavala elementary schools in Austin and a group from Sommer Elementary in the Round Rock district. Performances will be held in the B. Iden Payne Theater in the Winship Drama Building on May 9 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 1p.m..
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. Supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Houston Endowment, and RBC the Dain Rauscher Foundation.
Admission is free, but seating is limited; for more information about this event or Shakespeare at Winedale, contact Program Coordinator Liz Fisher at (512) 471-4726, or visit www.shakespeare-winedale.org.