ShakesFEAR is a Halloween program which takes place at Ewing Manor allowing for safe Halloween fun, and a chance for ISU students to practice their blood and guts makeup! Many ISU students donate their time and energies to these events.
Every summer ISF has a Theatre for Young Audience's show. Many of the ISU students receive internships with the festival, and the acting interns are the main performers for these pieces.
Literacy with Kevin Rich
Kevin Rich agreed to have a phone interview with myself on April 25th at 1 pm. He was excited to hear about all of the work we have been doing with the Touring Company, which I partake. When I began to explain about what this class's focus on urban education as well as integrating literacy into the classroom, he jumped right on board with the project.
As Artistic Director, it is Rich's job get young audience excited about theatre. There's an entire civic engagement arm in the company that is traditionally called educational outreach that has evolved into more, civic engagement. (Outreach involvement is the telling of the story. Engagement is when you bring the story to them.)
"Theater is intrinsically an advocate for literacy."
It is a common misconception that people in Shakespeare's era spoke in this heightened language, but Shakespeare's plays in the beginning were written in heightened language for a specific reason. William found a way to make poetry popular for a largely illiterate audience; not only did iambic pentameter make it easier to memorize but it also allowed poetry to be accessible. Kevin as a theatre practitioner loves how dramatizing language is a way for an audience member to expand their vocabulary, particularly when dealing with this heightened language.
Playwright's Intentions with Dramatic Literacy
This notion of dramatic literature is different than typical literature. When reading a play as a theatre practitioner, depending on your subset within theatre, how do read and interpret the play is important. For the Artistic Director interviewing designer and seeing actors auditioning, Rich needs to read that these individuals know the actions of the play, that they are literate in understanding the text on many levels.
It is a different kind of literacy they are looking for from the actors; they need to take action rather than just export major themes. Audience members see the themes. If actors just played themes, it would be a boring show. "Hamlet is simply melancholy, Chekhov mood of play is dour..." That is simple and one note. "Designers, actor... we see the different aspect of how the play is built, what does each character want, fight for, doing...
The playwright is writing a play, not a novel, for a reason. The playwright is taking action."
Theatre has the potential to take you a different culture. If you watch a play, you get personal exposure to different cultures. Theatre celebrates differences and similarities about culture and the human aspects. You learn about new things one would not be exposed to....