As with most theatrical productions, the annual Shakespeare Festival at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program takes months to prepare.
“Especially now that we do most of it pre-taped, it involves many hands and a lot of volunteering,” explained English teacher and organizer Laura Sheridan.
It also requires the generosity of people throughout the district.”
The creation of a green screen wall will enable students to film larger, more active scenes from the works of William Shakespeare, she explained.
However, it can and will be put to good use for future MAP projects.
“The supplies needed to create the wall and to purchase audio/visual equipment were provided through a grant from the Community Parent Center,” added Sheridan. “We will be using it to create projects such as PSAs for health class, newscasts for social studies, study aides for AP courses, etc. The possibilities across the curriculum are endless.”
Since a mid-March trip to see “Julius Caesar” performed at Classic Stage Company, Sheridan’s Shakespeare class has been working on scripts for plays they will be using in this year’s festival, including “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “Antony & Cleopatra,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Romeo & Juliet.”
“The students have been helping me edit scripts and create stage directions and prop requirements,” Sheridan added. “They have also been working as my stage crew, creating props from scratch as well as from older props. They have also been updating and reworking costumes.”
They have also been using MAP’s new Maker Space equipment, which was funded by the Bellmore Lions Club to create the three boxes (lead, silver, and gold) required for their upcoming scene from “The Merchant of Venice.”
Students painted and upholstered an old donated chair to create a golden throne for King Leontes in “The Winter’s Tale” and they are currently repainting it to make something different for Cleopatra’s throne.
“The students have also put together an intricate model of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, and they themselves will be creating a script and video about the history and workings of Elizabethan theater.”