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150 students tame Shakespeare

February 04, 2012
  • John Muir Middle School 8th grader Toni Volpi, left, as Bianca and Arsh Zahed as Baptista during production of William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Burbank school on Friday, January 27, 2012. About 150 of the 8th graders then performed, in costume, a short version of the play. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
John Muir Middle School 8th grader Toni Volpi, left, as…

Acting isn’t just about reciting lines from a script, even if the script is by William Shakespeare. The eighth-grade students of John Muir Middle School in Burbank learned that lesson on Jan. 27 during the school’s 11th annual “Shrew Day.” Students immersed themselves in Elizabethan England, with lessons on fencing, juggling, dancing, singing, acting and other crucial talents in workshops taught by visiting artists from Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. All that was before lunch.

Then came the play itself, as 150 students performed the Bard’s classic comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew.” It was the final act of three weeks of study in class. To give each student a part to play in the production, the play was broken into 17 scenes. Each English class acted and helped direct, including English-language learners and special needs kids. For one day at Muir, all the school was a stage, and the many boys and girls the excited players.

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-- Raul Roa, Times Community News

Twitter: @raulroa

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