Actors with Southwest Shakespeare Company, of Mesa, performed "How We Scroll: Romeo and Juliet," Dec. 12 at Globe High School. L-R are SSC actors Joshua Murphy, Racquel Mckenzie, Melissa Toomey, Benjamin Harris, Justus Burkitt and Elizabeth Broeder. Photo by Carol Broeder
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Bringing a Bit of the Bard to Globe High School

Actors with Southwest Shakespeare Company, based in Mesa, performed “This is How We Scroll: Romeo and Juliet,” an abridged version of the play, on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Globe High School Auditorium for an audience of 600 kids.

The educational touring company performs an interactive show that has been described as “packed with laughs, audience participation and tons of Shakespeare.”

This year’s series, “This is How We Scroll,” blended history and performance. Just like Elizabethan actors did, SSC actors used scrolls with their lines on them instead of scripts. Four syllables of the previous line preceded each line. Standing on stage, actors waited for their four-syllable cue, then recited their lines. SSC actors explained the history to GHS students prior to the performance.

Beginning almost 10 years ago, GHS English teacher and Librarian Wendy Hankin sponsored and chaperoned field trips—taking a single busload of GHS students each year to see SSC’s live performances (student matinees) for its unique brand of interactive Shakespeare at the Mesa Arts Center.

Using education mini-grants from Freeport McMoran, Hankin paid for the students’ tickets. 

GHS Principal Robert Armenta attended these field trips as a chaperone in the past and so, Hankin explained, both of them really wanted more kids to be able to experience these performances.

After doing some calculations and determining that the cost of a touring performance was less expensive than tickets and transportation to Mesa, Haskins asked Armenta if there was money in the budget to bring the touring group to Globe. 

The Spring of 2017 was the first time the group traveled to Globe, performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Following spring was “Twelfth Night” and “Julius Caesar” was in November last year, Hankin said.

Prior to the Dec. 12 performance, Hankin reminded students that they had all read Romeo and Juliet in freshman English as part of the English 9 curriculum, making them familiar with Shakespeare’s play.

 

 

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