Thursday, July 1, 2010

Alison, Antony and Cleopatra

Alison Bomber (above, right), the Royal Shakespeare Company's voice coach, worked all day Thursday with the MFA acting students (including Kevin McClatchy and Victoria Matsos, above) and the Ohio teachers. Bomber will be in residence at Ohio State during winter quarter 2011, when she will direct the MFA students in a production of Othello.

The week is quickly winding down in Stratford-upon-Avon, where construction is nearly finished on the completely transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The theatre (above), situated squarely on the banks of the River Avon, was originally built in 1932 and will retain its Art Deco and Victorian features. The rebuilt theatre aims to improve the relationship between the audience and the actor by bringing them closer together and creating a more intimate theatre experience.

Throughout the week, the teachers and MFAs have had plenty of time for reflection and discussion about their experiences with the RSC through morning chats with OSU professor Brian Edmiston (above) and Pat Enciso in the hotel's courtyard.

The Ohio group wound up the day Thursday by attending the RSC production of Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare's captivating tragedy directed by Michael Boyd.

Above, in the theatre lobby at intermission.

Outside the theatre gift shop.

And later, at the Dirty Duck.


"A light bulb went on today, a true 'a-ha' moment. When I heard the word 'iambic' today, I got it. Shakespeare's text is not only based on the sound of the vowels in the words but on the rhythm of the words. That really helps me understand the flow of Shakespeare's text, and it will work tremendously with inner-city kids. They're all about rhythm. They're always tapping their fingers on their desk, tapping their toes. Knowing about the rhythm in Shakespeare's work will really get them engaged. When you can teach them through rhythm, it sticks in their brains. It's amazing."

Rosalind Ebai, 6th grade reading and language arts, Wedgewood Middle School

"As a teacher, I thought I knew how to teach. This is showing me that I didn't -- I never realized until now that the kids should be an ensemble and not just a class. This week, I've loved the experience of being partnered with the MFA students -- they are very supportive of everyone, and that means something. As a writer, I've loved the attention to language and the rhythm of Shakespeare's word. I'm writing a novel and it's helping me see how the dialogue should work, how the motion and the sound of the language should flow."

David Hall, English teacher, the Charles School

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