In December of 2016, The Shakespeare & Company arrived in Bridgehampton for their annual residency with the students of Hayground School. This year marks their 18th year working with the local children. Four professional actors from the Berkshires-based Company, Caitlin Kraft, Greg Boover, Grace Lazarz and Annie Considine, mentored the school children during the three week workshop. Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet was brought to the 85 kids for an in-depth exploration of its content.
Shakespeare is a prominent playwright and it is important to bring his work to the attentions of young minds all around the world. “Making Shakespeare accessible and inclusive,” is the aim of Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program, explained Kraft.
To make things interesting, the mentors played theater games and different activities that would help the young students understand the meaning of his tragic play and the emotion that accompanies Shakespeare’s work.
This program creates an opportunity for kids to learn the beauty behind Shakespeare’s famous plays and allow them to move past the difficult language and to the real beauty and intricacy behind his scripts.
“Our goal is not just for the kids to understand the story of these plays, but for them to bring the stories alive,” shared the mentors. “The themes of Romeo and Juliet – love, compassion, shame, loyalty, family values, trust and forgiveness – are innate to the human experience. Regardless of age, these are themes that strongly define our character.”
The three week program concluded with two performances of Romeo and Juliet, held at Guild Hall in East Hampton. The event proved to be a huge success and brought joyous entertainment to the community.