The students began with an informative power point presentation in which they described the historical and cultural context of Shakespearean drama. They also identified many themes of Shakespeare’s work which are still relevant in today’s times. The students then presented four scenes from the Shakespearean comedy, As You Like It, all of which focused on different types of love relationships. The first two scenes were actual excerpts from the play, and were delivered in Elizabethan English, whereas the final two scenes were adaptations of the play, set in a 21st century high school, and were therefore delivered in contemporary Modern English. The presentation included music and dance, as well as dramatized dialogue, and the student performers projected a lot of energy and charisma. It was clear from their performance that Shakespeare’s work is still relevant in the 21st century. Mr. David Gibson, former Pinewood teacher and current member of the theatrical team, Dave and Luke, also spoke on the continuing relevance of the classics to today’s complex realities. Mr. Gibson, a lively story-teller, shared some of his early reading experiences with us, and strongly encouraged us all to continue reading great works of literature as a way to better understand ourselves. All in all, the event was a huge success, due in large part to the charm and skill of the speakers and performers, as well as the great enthusiasm of the Pinewood student audience.
– Dr. Linda Manney, English Department