As part of their final project of the year, Windward's 7th Grade English students were tasked to consider and memorize scenes from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. On May 30, the students came together with their fellow 7th Graders in the Irene Kleinberg Theater to present their final productions. Each group performed for roughly two minutes, starting and ending on a frozen "tableau" to allow their classmates to pick up where they left off. The project allowed students to share their understanding and interpretation of the text, resulting in a fun and interactive performance for all involved.
“I'm really impressed by our 7th Graders,” said English Teacher Dawn Robinson. “It is no easy feat to tackle Shakespeare, even for much older students. Not only did they put in the work to really understand their scenes, but we also saw a great deal of creativity and humor. These final presentations represented a mix of hard work, fun, and a bit of bravery, and I could not be prouder of our students.”
“Imagining what the set might look like, how the characters would sound, and even how the audience would react—their laughter or their silence all helped me see the story as something modern and timeless instead of just a complicated kind of poetry that made no sense” said Wesley K. ’28. “Overall, I have learned that even though Shakespeare can feel intimidating, once you get used to it, it is really fun to read and perform.”
“I learned a lot from this unit, but what stood out to me the most was how much more of an understanding I have of Shakespearean English,” shared Tommy M. ’28. “When we started I thought that this language made no sense and that it was just a bunch of words mashed together, but now I see how special and antique this language really is. Even though I don’t understand every word, I think it’s safe to say that I get it pretty well and that I have developed the skill to decipher the sentences that don’t immediately make sense to me.”
Alexis L. ’28 added, “I have had an amazing time, both planning this scene and being introduced to Shakespeare in such an engaging way. While sometimes a challenge, the intricate storylines, relatable characters, and beautiful language made this unit so enjoyable. Every detail matters, and the more you understand the reading, the more entertaining it is. If you get what is happening, being said, or being implied, you are able to put your own creative twists onto the text and connect with the audience in a meaningful or humorous way.”
"One of the things that I did learn about myself when it comes to acting is that the boundaries of my comfort zone expand farther than where I thought they were,” shared Lucy G. ’28. “This unit has made me more comfortable with acting on stage." Mile G. ’28 agreed, adding "Performing Shakespeare is very simple if you work with your group and make sure to block your scene very precisely. For my team, we all took the time to memorize our lines and make sure we had them all down. Then, we met pretty much every day to block where each character would go on the stage. I learned that learning how to read the text of Shakespeare is not very hard if you know the meanings behind it and the context."
“Overall my group and I had an amazing experience working together, working through challenges, compromising, helping each other, and hearing each other's ideas,” said Lily F. ’28. “Working with my group has helped me become a hard worker and has overall improved my group work skills."
Great work, Wildcats!