RSC education practitioners Virginia Grainger (above, right) and Rachel Gartside -- who led an inspirational week of educational development in Stratford-upon-Avon two weeks ago for Ohio teachers and Theatre MFA students -- are at Ohio State this week to continue working with the group. They are joined by OSU's Brian Edmiston, who leads the OSU/RSC workshops and educational program in Ohio.
While in England, the group of 20 teachers and 10 MFAs participated in learning the RSC's active, drama-based approaches to Shakespeare. This five-day follow-up week will have the group shift their focus on how to teach the approaches in their own classrooms. While on campus, they are focusing primarily on Romeo and Juliet, exploring the text and its performance, the characters and their points of view, and Shakespeare's themes and language. Yesterday, they were standing in the shoes of the various characters. Below, MFA actors Kevin McClatchy and Hannah Rockey go over an excerpt of the script.
This year's group of teachers is the second to participate in the OSU/RSC Stand Up for Shakespeare America program. The first group of 20 teachers will interact and share experiences with the current group throughout the coming year. A few of the original participants came to Ohio State this week to observe, including Danielle Berring and Tim Wangler (below).
"It's great to be reconnecting with this group now that we're back at home in our Ohio mode. It helps connect what we learned in England with what I can do with my kids in the classroom."
Kelly Simmons, 5th grade math and science, Linden STEM Academy
Among other things, our week in England turned into somewhat of a big blur of wonderful experiences. Coming back and reconnecting as a group helps reinforce and reconstruct some of those moments. The beauty of it is seeing how I can use the techniques not only in the classroom. . . but also in the rehearsal room as an actor."
Aaron Zook, MFA acting student
Whistling in the Dark Theatre Company presents Shipwrecked, An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont, by Donald Margulies. It premieres tonight -- Thursday, July 15, at 8 pm at The Green Room, a new theatre venue at South Campus Gateway. The show, sure to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, is based on the true story of a shipwrecked British explorer in the late 1800s, whose adventures – along with his trusty dog Bruno – included high-seas tales of giant sea turtles, flying wombats, a man-eating octopus and Queen Victoria herself. The show, with a focus on the power of storytelling, runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through Aug 7. Tickets are available at the door or – at a discount – online here.
Directed by Kal Poole (above), Shipwrecked's cast includes Dwayne Blackaller, Liam Cronin, Doug Davis, Alison Vasquez and Kayla Jackmon. Musicians are Emily Mills and Joy Wysong.
The Green Room is sponsored by the Arts Initiative at Ohio State and Campus Partners. The new space, a former storefront in the Arts in the Alley area that also houses three galleries, is the summer home to Whistling in the Dark, which is breaking ground by bringing "sustainable theatre" to Columbus. The company strives to be eco-friendly and cost efficient wherever possible.