A message from CPS Shakespeare! Director Kirsten Kelly
At the beginning of our CPS Shakespeare! rehearsal process, I spend as much time as I can posing questions. Together, with the artistic support of our design team, we explore the ensemble’s own responses to the story in order to understand what Shakespeare’s play means to us. We investigate new words, learn about Shakespeare’s text clues, get up on our feet to speak these words, and experiment with becoming these characters. We analyze, have spirited discussions, share how our life experiences, relate to the story, and bring forth our creative ideas. We then make choices about “our” play.
And then we make these choices come alive on stage.
I’ve seen students and teachers discover so much during this process. We learn the power of words, to connect words to physical action, to project our voices, to listen to one another, to collaborate, to come to the project with imagination, thought and preparation, and above all, to reach out of our comfort zones and take risks.
For me, the most exciting aspect of the entire process is to see someone’s choice develop from a thought in the rehearsal room into a huge theatrical moment onstage. These young people and their teachers discover strong and emotional connections to Shakespeare’s story. This depth brings our play to life in a distinctive and powerful way.