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School of Performing Arts hosts high school students for an Afternoon with the Bard

February 11, 2016

“Shakespeare has a huge vat of riches, fun and drama – everything we love,” said Lisa Brescia, a Stephens College visiting guest artist in acting, to the students who joined her and others today for “An Afternoon with the Bard: Shakespeare in Action”.Students from three area schools came to Stephens College School of Performing Arts on Tuesday to explore Shakespeare for a contemporary society, and what it takes to bring a well-loved but more than 400-year-old play to life.

Brescia, who has performed on Broadway in “Mamma Mia!,” and “Aida,” worked with small groups on diction and speaking for the stage. Brescia is also the director for the Stephens College Playhouse Theatre Company’s production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and is teaching acting courses here this semester. 

Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian led sessions on text and character connections.

“To understand text from another time, you have to look for the meaning behind the text—the subtext.” she said.

A third session explored scenic design, lighting and costuming – essential components for bringing the play to the modern stage. How that happens, what goes into to creating a set – and why – were discussed in the interactive session.  

Students were welcomed from Hickman and Battle high schools and Gentry middle school to the actual rehearsal and performances spaces that Stephens College students use, and had the opportunity to meet current students in the program as well.

The event was one of several tied to the current production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" which continues Feb. 12 and 13. 

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