English Students Enjoy Shakespeare Performance

The third- and fourth-form English students of Marc Hogan, Kristyn Wilson, and Jennifer Hubbard gathered in Woodberry Forest School’s Bomb Shelter Experimental Theater to watch a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier this month.. Performed by a professional troupe of seven actors and a crew member from Quill Theatre, the show offered a comic—often raucous—rendition of the play most of the boys had read in class. 
The audience responded enthusiastically, especially when cast members engaged the students directly. Pen Oldham ’22 said the performance “… showed me the humorous side of Shakespeare, which I had been missing.” 
Afterward, the cast remained for a talk-back session, fielding questions from students and teachers. Students asked about the challenges involved in the quick costume and character changes needed so that each actor could play at least two parts. “For me, it was the part of the body I led with,” said Dante Piro, who played Lysander, Cobweb, and Francis Flute. He said that with only about thirty seconds to change from one character to another, he developed a way for each character to move and stand that helped him quickly inhabit their different personalities. Other boys wondered how much time the actors had to learn lines and rehearse, what their favorite type of show was, and what went into the artistic choices they made. The actors shared their own introduction to Shakespeare and reflections on what they’d learned about their characters as they rehearsed and performed the show.

Quill Theatre, founded in 2013 when Richmond Shakespeare and Henley Street Theater merged, calls itself “Richmond’s home for classical theatre.” It strives to bring theatrical works, especially those of William Shakespeare, to audiences in Virginia. Part of Quill Theatre’s mission is to “…approach this work boldly with a resolve to ignite spirits, educate minds and defy expectation.”

View the photograph album of the performance 

Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.