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Shakespeare From Page to Stage

First Folio of "Hamlet." The "First Folio" was the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays. The printing of the First Folio in 1623 included thirty six plays, eighteen of which had never been published before. Click to view a First Folio image of "Romeo and Juliet."

Interview with Susan Munroe '05, English major with theater specialization and minor in film and Ian Byrd '05, theater major with specialization in acting

Why did you take Shakespeare: Page to Stage?

Ian: I took the class because Shakespeare is a staple in the theater. I think anyone who is involved with theater should definitely be able to perform Shakespeare. I thought it was very important for my own path.

Susan: When I took the class I was tossing around whether to be an English major or a theater major. I had taken classes with Gino before—he has such a vibrant personality—and wanted to take another one of his courses. I also had heard good things about Professor Vaughan. I love Shakespeare as well, so when a friend told me about the class I thought it would be a perfect way to combine my two interests.

What did you think of the class?

Susan: I loved it. I've always enjoyed interdisciplinary study because I think nothing in life is black and white. I don't like to think that 'Oh, this is just an English class or this is just a theater class.' So, I enjoyed the interdisciplinary aspect of it. I also thought the professors were great. I loved Gino and Ginger. They're both very exciting and interesting professors who are really good at what they do. I was impressed that they were able to create a class that brought together acting and Shakespeare -- I mean for people who aren't already interested in literature, Shakespeare can be kind of scary. But they were able to bring a whole new light to it.

Ian: A large part of what makes the class great is the professors. Gino and Ginger have a great sense of humor and rapport. Their knowledge of the subject matter and interaction with each other is what makes this class so much fun.

Do you think the historical and literary readings you did in class impacted your acting at all?

Susan: I think it definately helped since Ginger would help clarify different words and references that you might not understand in a line of text. Then, you could use that to inform your acting. For example, you might think a text means one thing, but once you look at the historical background and references it can give you a different understanding of what Shakespeare was really trying to say. That makes it easier for your characterizations once you start performing the texts.

What about the English majors who had never acted before?

Ian: They really seemed to enjoy the acting. The people in my class had a lot of fun with it.

 

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Ian Byrd '05

Susan Munroe '05
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