On Monday 7 November, Pensby High School performed in the Shakespeare for Schools Festival. The Shakespeare for Schools Festival charity is the UK’s largest youth drama festival. Schools who participate perform 30 minute, abridged versions of Shakespeare's plays in local,professional theatres all over the United Kingdom. Since its inception in 2000 it has worked with over 100,000 young people and 1000 schools.
SSF aims to engage children through an active way of learning. Together with the charity, we strive to boost articulacy and confidence, as well as imparting keyemployability skills such as teamwork, peer leadership and critical thinking. In preparing and performing the plays, participants also learn about Shakespeare's language, themes and characters. Moreover, this serves to enhance pupils' work within both the English and Drama curriculum.
A specially selected cast of 25 Year 9 students was assembled based on theirachievement within, and commitment to, Drama. We began rehearsing in September 2016, developing our own interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most famouscomedies "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
We spent Monday 7th November at the Floral Pavilion Theatre, undertaking a complex run of rehearsals including a full technical and full dress rehearsal. We were lucky enough to have access to the theatre’s full range of lighting and we ensured we made the most of it to create a comprehensive range of theatrical effects. At 19:00 we began the performance, along with another 3 schools performing that night. We were selected to open the show.
A professional theatre director said of our performance;
“ I hope you and your students are feeling hugely proud of your achievements, and have been walking tall since the show. I was so pleased to have been at yourperformance and seen your beautifully imaginative and dramatic production. I absolutely loved the movement, the commitment from your ensemble and the pace of the piece as a whole. It was fantastic and gripping. Congratulations Laura and Pensby - we have loved working with you to make the 2016 Festival happen!”
The cast’s commitment to producing excellent theatre was unrelenting. They wore their Pensby t-shirtspassionately and proudly and I was proud to be their teacher.