The Festival of Play
Young Shakespeareans to perform scenes in the Winedale Theater Barn on Eeyore’s Birthday
Posted: January 14, 2014
Young Shakespeareans ages 8 to 15 will take the stage at the Winedale Theater Barn in Winedale, Texas on Saturday, April 26 as part of the annual spring Festival of Play. The day will feature two hours of performances by school groups from Austin, Round Rock, and Gonzales, TX. After the student performances, a family-friendly “Eeyore’s Birthday Party” with traditional games, prizes, and birthday cake will take place on the Winedale grounds.
Approximately 150 young players will be in attendance, performing scenes from such plays as Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and Henry V.
Festival of Play performances run from 12 – 2 p.m. Saturday in the Theater Barn, to be followed 2-4 p.m. by the spring celebration of Eeyore’s Birthday Party on the Winedale grounds. Both events are free and open to the public, though seating is limited for performances due to the large number of students, parents and teachers; visitors are advised to bring a folding chair or a picnic blanket, since there is room to sit outside the open-sided Theater Barn. The day’s festivities conclude with an evening performance of Macbeth by students participating in the UT Department of English’s Shakespeare at Winedale program.
The Winedale Festival of Play is one of they year’s highlights for the public school students participating in this program. “All year long, we look forward to sharing the Winedale Theater Barn with these young students, many of whom have already fallen in love with Shakespeare in their classrooms,” said Outreach Coordinator Clayton Stromberger, a former student in the Winedale program under its founding director, Dr. James B. Ayres. “When the kids step into the Barn for the first time, and realize they’re going to be able to perform on that stage – the same one where generations of UT students have performed – their excitement goes through the roof. It’s a great day, and the kids go home tired, happy, and proud of their hard work.”
Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach, housed in the Department of English within the UT College of Liberal Arts, is a language arts and fine arts enrichment program designed to provide opportunities for meaningful learning and academic excellence for Texas schoolchildren. Founded in 2003, the program has a special focus on both emerging and advanced readers in grades 3 through 8, and on students in low-income communities. Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach is supported by individual donations and grants from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Houston Endowment, and RBC Dain Rauscher.