Bring Live Shakespeare to High School Students

by The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Thank you so much to all of the supporters of our high school Shakespeare residency.  This year's residency is done, and it was a wonderful experience.  Our four teaching artists started rehearsals with a cast of 11 students from Kelloggsville High School in October.  We also had a technical crew of 20 working on the show.  We also got to spend time teaching Shakespeare workshops in the school's English department, reaching almost 300 students with interactive exercises and Shakespeare word games.  The project culminated with our performances of The Comedy of Errors -- two performances at the school, and four performances at the Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, where our student actors got the experience of taking their production on the road.

We have chosen to designate this project as funded, so it will no longer be active on GlobalGiving's site.  If you are interested in other projects that the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company is working on, please look up the Lake Effect Fringe Festival on Global Giving's website.

Again, thank you for your support of our efforts to bring live Shakespeare to high school students in our area!

Student Cast of The Comedy of Errors
Student Cast of The Comedy of Errors

We began rehearsals for The Comedy of Errors with a cast of 11 high school students from Kelloggsville High School the first week of October.  We also have a fantastic student stage manager and a technical crew of students who are working on wardrobe, props, sound effects, and set.  We will have our first performances in about 2 weeks!  We will perform both at the high school, and at the Dog Story Theater in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On October 30, our professional teaching artists will spend the entire school day at Kelloggsville, traveling to English/Language Arts classes to conduct a workshop on reading Shakespeare's language with the school's students.  This means that not only the theatre students, but also the students in English classes will have the benefit of working with our actors.  Since all students in the state of Michigan read Shakespeare during their high school careers, we are looking forward to making his language more accessible to these students.

Our cast are doing an outstanding job preparing for their performances.  We look forward to sharing these students' work with the public!


Plans for the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company's fall 2012 High School Shakespeare Residency are heating up!  We are getting our cast of teaching artists into place, and are very excited about the actors who will be working with the Kelloggsville high school students on our residency production of  The Comedy of Errors.

Our cast of teaching artists, who will perform in the production and act as mentors to the student actors, so far includes Brooke Heintz, Scott Lange, Claire Mahave, and Katherine Mayberry.

Brooke Heintz is a certified secondary teacher, specializing in English/Language Arts, and a frequent performer with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, where she has played such roles as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Lancelot in The Merchant of Venice.  Brooke also has extensive performance experience as an improvisational actor.

Scott Lange has a degree in theater from Grand Valley State University, and has been performing with Pigeon Creek since 2003, playins such roles as the title role in Hamlet, Mercutio/Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, and Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost.  An accomplished musician, Lange frequently music directs Pigeon Creek's productions.  He has been a teaching artist in two of the company's previous high school residencies.

Claire Mahave teaches high school students in the Grand Rapids school system, and has many years of teaching experience.  She has appeared in several Pigeon Creek productions, playing Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, Mortimer in Henry IV, Part 1, and Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra.  She also serves on the board of the Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Katherine Mayberry is the executive director of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, which she helped to found in 1998.  She has acted in many productions with the company.  She teaches Shakespeare and Shakespearean acting at Grand Valley State University and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.  She has appeared in three previous high school residency productions.

We thank you again for your support of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company's residency at Kelloggsville High School, and we hope you are as excited about our cast of teaching artists as we are!

On Tuesday, April 24, Kate Bode, Scott Lange, and I conducted an hour-long workshop with theatre students at Kelloggsville High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we will be doing our six-week-long residency this coming fall.  When we do residencies, we typically visit the school once in the spring to give the students a small preview of what we will be doing.

We worked with the students on creating stage pictures in a thrust stage environment (audience on 3 sides, the type of staging that theatres had in Shakespeare's lifetime), and also did an introduction to Shakespeare's verse by having them read through a speech from The Comedy of Errors and march the rhythm of the iambic pentameter.  We finished up with some practice on direct audience contact (when characters speak directly to audience members), using a speech of Dromio of Ephesus from the same play.

The students were fantastic to work with.  They jumped right in and were willing to try new things.  They asked great questions.  This visit made us even more enthusiastic to start this fall's residency!



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Organization Information

The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Location: Grand Haven, MI - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Katherine Mayberry
Grand Haven, MI United States

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