To be or not to be, a new Shakespeare Festival is set to surprise us all

Nani Wong, Staff Writer

A pilgrimage? A medieval fair? These used to be a part of Seabury Hall’s annual Shakespeare Festival. Over the years, the festival has changed dramatically into the day of acting and festivities that the community knows today. This year’s festival will happen on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and like many years before, the English department has decided to change the day again and incorporate new traditions.

The main change that is made is that every sophomore English teacher will have their students focus on one play, instead of the students choosing random acts from random Shakespearean plays. Sally Sefton’s classes will be doing “The Tempest,” Carson Strohecker’s classes will be doing “Richard II” and “King Henry the IV, Part 1,” and Alan Hodara’s class will be doing “King Lear.”

Excited for the festival that is right around the corner, sophomores are eagerly scrambling to memorize lines, figure out their placements, and put in finishing touches on their plays. “I am excited to make the crowd happy and show everyone how much time and effort we put into our play. Hopefully, everyone enjoys our play” says sophomore Drew Belew, who is playing the role of Caliban in Act 1, Scene 2 of “The Tempest.”

Practicing is something some students do not take lightly. “During every English class, we have been coming into our place, directing each other with the blocking, running our lines, and just preparing ourselves,” says sophomore Tatiana Ringsby, who is playing the role of Ariel in Act 1, Scene 2 of “The Tempest.”

One challenge most students face with the Shakespeare festival is that it will be their first time acting. Kapena Hoopai, who is playing the role of Caliban in Act 1, Scene 2 of “The Tempest” commented, “I have never acted before. Acting is pretty hard for me because you are generally telling your emotions to the crowd.”

In the morning, the first class of the day will be used as a setup. The next four classes will be time for sophomores to perform their scene. After lunch, the sophomore class will enjoy a Shakespearean film picked out by one of the English teachers.

Other changes to the festival is to take out the games and replace them with information sessions after each play. The students will answer questions from the audience and vice versa.

When asked why there were some changes, Hodara said, “It was mainly because of the time constraints. The games were also getting really repetitive, silly, and since we have less time, we are unable to do the research project that goes along with the games. So, we have taken out the games and replaced it with an increased focus on the scene.”

Wednesday, Nov. 25 will be a day for Shakespeare put on by three English teachers and the whole sophomore class. Pressure is on as the whole school looks forward to an old tradition with a new developments.