Drama out of the classroom

Fri, Mar 11, 2011

The British Actors Theatre Company visited Mercy College to present an edited version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Mercy students were joined by fifth and sixth years from Summerhill for a live performance and workshops.

The morning consisted of two parts, the first a performance of key scenes from the play, followed by drama workshops which engaged the students by allowing them to re-direct two of the key scenes. This focused on stage-craft and characterisation. Pupils enjoyed reworking the actors’ stage positions and how they recited their lines, in some cases re-interpreting the emotions expressed by the performers. A levely discussion of the play’s relevance for a modern audience ensued.

The morning concluded with the players giving several examples of how Shakespeare has influenced the language so much, we are constantly quoting him without even knowing it.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of a morning like this is that it takes the experience of drama out of the classroom and into the area of performance, as it was originally intended. The combination of performance, workshop and exam focus made this a relevant and enjoyable experience for students

The English Dept continues its commitment to making the curriculum as interesting and relevant as possible to students in Mercy College.