Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shakespeare for everyone by Amy Augustine

Here’s a question certain to have stymied many a high school English teacher over the years: How does one make the 400-year-old prose of William Shakespeare come alive to a room full of uninterested teenagers?

A call to Amy and Tyrus Lemerande, founders and stars of the Knighthorse Theatre Company, would be a good start. The duo has made it their life’s work to reintroduce modern-day audiences to a Shakespeare who’s not only relatable but – dare we say – cool. That’s quite a lofty goal when your target demographic is famous for finding dense text a total snooze.

The Lemerandes’ philosophy is simple: If the audience doesn’t feel connected or engaged, they’re going to lose interest. By getting Shakespeare off the two-dimensional page and turning a passive audience into active participants, “it becomes more vibrant for them,” Ty said. “It becomes more real.”

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