In Shakespeare the birds sing, the bushes are clothed with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the vast eternal dream hovers over all. Sap and blood, all forms of the multiple reality, actions and ideas, man and humanity, the living and the life, solitudes, cities, religions, diamonds and pearls, dung-hills and charnelhouses, the ebb and flow of beings, the steps of comers and goers, all, all are on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare.
The “great works” of William Shakespeare continue to work great–for education and entertainment.
Donahue students read works of Shakespeare as part of both Logic and Rhetoric, beginning with Julius Caesar in Grade 6, and often memorize soliloquys or monologues (such as Marc Antony’s funeral speech) as part of the curriculum. When students reach high school, they are ready to tackle a complete Shakespeare performance, which is offered as part of our high school electives.
Our annual performance includes all elements of a stage production, from music, lighting, and sound to costuming, promotion and, of course, acting! Students audition in late fall and begin work on a production in the winter/spring semester. Students are expected not only to memorize lines, but also to learn with depth the meaning of the particular play.
Productions Performed in a “Black Box”
While our staging is not always completely black nor always a defined box, Donahue does stage its productions in a small, intimate space that allows actors to engage with the audience and gives the audience a close encounter with Shakespeare. The public, including and particularly the younger members of our audiences, are always entertained!
This year’s Shakespeare Players will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream May 4-7, 2023.