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BOB CHANDA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HUB THEATRE GROUP:
The Inspiration for the First Annual Junior Shakespeare Festival
Some time ago I had the privilege of spending time in the Michigan prison system watching Curt Tofteland, Founder and Producing Director of the amazing "Shakespeare Behind Bars" program, work with inmates. The use of Shakespeare in their group interactions seemed to have a transformative impact on the men involved in the program and as they did scenes and monologues I was moved not only by their theatrical craft, but by the personal impact the words had on them. More than ever it reaffirmed for me the sheer power and continuing relevance of Shakespeare. Shakespeare's works still seem to encapsulate the human condition in a way that led Sir Ian McKellen to suggest, in a bit of excusable hyperbole, that he "seems to have invented us, really..."
These general observations led to us conceiving Shakespeare as a vehicle for education for young actors and was the impetus for our Hamlet Project. Hub Theatre Group was looking for another vehicle for young actors to be exposed to and experience Shakespeare. The Junior Shakespeare Festival is the vehicle we chose. In May of 2018, we hope to bring young actors (and their teachers) together to compete in the performance of pre-selected Shakepearean speeches and duet scenes. In addition to being able to perform and be adjudicated in those scenes and speeches, we also want to provide educational opportunities with experts for both young actors and their teachers. We therefore will have a Guest Artist on hand who will present during the event.
Distinguished Guest Artist
This year we are honored to have Patrick Midgley as our Guest Artist. He is a distinguished actor who has acted in over 50 Shakespearean productions playing over 150 roles with two national tours and six years of residencies at the American Shakespeare Center, the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Exchange and many others. Patrick is a nationally recognized artist and was recently awarded the prestigious Travis Bogard Artist-In-Residence Fellowship from The Eugene O’Neill Foundation .
WHEN WILL THIS EVENT TAKE PLACE?
May 11-12, 2018
WHERE WILL THIS EVENT TAKE PLACE?
All Saints Episcopal School
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE?
The competition will have a high school and a middle school division and will be open to individuals for speeches and teams of two actors for the duet scenes. While registration will be for individual students this first year, we encourage teachers to come as well to help your students represent their school.
HOW DO WE REGISTER, GET THE SCENES AND SPEECHES, ETC.?
Registration forms, rules and selected speeches and duet scenes will be available soon. Check back here HERE for details. Registration will officially open January 1 but materials will be available by the end of October.
IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.