Midsummer Workshop Day 1

Maggie learning the stressed-unstressed pattern of Shakespeare’s Verse

Just a few hours ago, 30 HHS students left the Homestead Auditorium just a little bit smarter then they were when they entered.  It was day one of the Midsummer Night’s DreamWorkshops.  Starting at 1pm, we introduced ourselves and learned interesting facts about everyone, Ryan was a hockey fan, Henry was learning three languages and Joe had nothing interesting about him other then he was wearing the same clothing he was the day before.

Discussing their worlds and trying to create one big world

We had many old and known faces, but I was very happy with the new faces, faces I’d either only seen in the REC dept plays or totally new people.  It was a wonderful way to meet the incoming freshmen.  With so many people, we split up into three groups.  Besides me (Ms. Figg-Franzoi) leading the workshops, I’ve invited two amazing actors from the community, Mark Puckinsky, a BFA student in Theatre at UWM and graduate of HHS and Matt Wickey, who recently finished his masters in Classical Theatre at Kingston University in England.  These two men made the workshops extra special this year.  Mark worked with everyone on Shakespeare’s sonnets, allowing them to feel the text and become more comfortable with the wording of Elizabethan England.  Branching off with more Shakespeare, Matt taught the much needed laws of scansion and feeling the rhythm of the text, feeling the heart beat in the words.

Senior, Ali’s drawing of a dark forest with beautiful but cruel fairies that rule the land.
Sophomore, Alex’s photo, feeling Wizard of Oz like.

This led me to have all the fun!  With this workshop, I want the actors to create the worlds of the Lovers, Fairies, Court and the Mechanical.  Within the next four workshops, we will create the theme and set of the play, which should be amazing!  So today we started with some guided imagery leading them through their own fairy land.  Then with the help of some questions, each person created a world for the fairies to exist and the lovers to get lost in.  We played with the idea that it should be tranquil for some and very frightening for others.  The pictures and ideas ranged from fairy forests to a cemetery.

Freshmen, Sarah Mae’s drawing with a feel of India and whimsy.

The groups talked about how the ordinary normal life we know could be turned upside down for this world, so instead of a scary grey cemetery, it would be colorful with wonderful flowers and head stones.  Or a world with pink trees and a green sky.  Some wanted the world to be in a city playground or a junk yard while others set it in a run down fun fair.  The ideas and possibilities are endless.

Junior, Joe’s picture of a more abstract world

The 3 hours zipped by today and I know the rest of the workshops will continue to fly past us until we won’t know that school starts too soon to think about.

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