For more than 80 years the Shakespeare play has been one of Winsor’s most cherished traditions, but have you ever wondered where it originated? Panel set out to uncover how it all began and what people take away from the experience. The annual Shakespeare play “started when an English teacher said we should put on a Shakespeare production 81 years ago and they did, and someone said that was great and they did it again and again,” said Mr. Tupper. Ms. Clark adds that the Winsor community “decided that immersing Class IV girls in this project would be a great way to help them grow together, instead of going on a retreat. There is no way that Winsor would leave Shakespeare out of the curriculum, and it is important to perform it and not just read and analyze the plays.”
Everyone who participates in the Shakespeare play finds it to be a rewarding experience. One of the goals of the Shakespeare play is to involve the students as much as possible in every step of the process. From the set to the costumes, students play a major role in every aspect of the play. Regina Noonan ’13 said her favorite part about the Shakespeare experience was “bonding with my entire class and working on set committee. Working together to produce a really successful play brought my class a lot closer.” Ellie Bridge ’13 liked working on her play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, because getting to be a part of it every day made it an even more exciting story. Alexa Lyons and Helen Sayegh ’17 both loved gaining a deeper understanding of the lines and the play. Not only do performers enjoy Shakespeare, but audience members do as well. Tori Lyons ’15 love watching the plays every year because “they’re so entertaining, and I love watching how the actors shine onstage.”
The Shakespeare play has also changed considerably over the years. It used to be that the directors chose one play and the students performed it in its entirety, but now the directors and students pick a general theme and combine various scenes of Shakespeare plays in one production in accordance with the chosen theme. “Now we select strong scenes from three plays which give actors meaty roles and make it less confusing for the audience,” says Ms. Clark, who has directed the Shakespeare play since 1992. This year, politics was chosen as the theme because of the recent presidential election; the play featured scenes from Henry IV, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet. Although the Shakespeare play has greatly evolved, people still enjoy participating in the play and watching it annually. This year, the IV’s worked very hard and the audience gave them a standing ovation.