UT Children's Shakespeare Festival
Posted: May 5, 2014
Once again, it is time for the annual UT Children’s Shakespeare Festival, where hundreds elementary school children, ranging from 3rd to 5th grade, gather together to celebrate a year of hard work and play. Taking the B. Iden Payne stage on UT campus, children from the Austin and the Round Rock school districts will perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays and cheer on their fellow Shakespeareans.
Since the beginning of the school year, these young scholars and their teachers have worked in conjunction with the Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach program, located within the English Department at UT Austin. This unique program provides children of different reading levels and economic backgrounds the opportunity to explore the greatest playwright of all time’s work through his intended medium: live performance. Using a “stage to page” strategy, students are able to explore the Bard’s work through an immersive, hands on experience that culminates in a large performance for the public at the B. Iden Payne Theater in the Winship Drama Building on May 7 and 8 from 11am-12:30pm.
Primarily funded and sustained by grants and donations, the UT Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach program focuses on providing an empowering educational experience for Central Texas schoolchildren that hail from disadvantaged or low-income communities. The performances this year are open to the public, and are free of admission charge. This year, the participating groups are from Cowan Elementary, Pease Elementary, Sommer Elementary, Zavala Elementary, Govalle Elementary, Jollyville Elementary, Pickle Elementary, Doss Elementary, Bryker Woods Elementary, and Ortega Elementary and will feature scenes from King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet.
In addition to providing the students with a positive visit to the University of Texas campus, it gives the children a chance to showcase their hard work just as Shakespeare and his troupe did centuries ago, adding another layer of fulfillment to this unique experience.
Admission is free, but seating is limited. For further information on this event or Shakespeare at Winedale, contact Outreach Assistant Allison Dillon at (512) 471-8367, or visit www.shakespeare-winedale.org.