(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) — Professor Stephen Davis, Affiliate Professor of Theatre Arts at Centenary University, will go on his once-a-year “Shakespeare Residency” at Blairstown Elementary College this spring. The software is in its 9th year, the very first yr took position in the spring just after the Sandy Hook tragedy of 2013. Davis wanted to give again to his group and university aged youngsters in honor of the assault at Sandy Hook, so he donated his time to the college youngsters the very first two many years of the plan, and will do so again this 12 months in what he phone calls an “anti-covid residency.”
The residency and subsequent effectiveness of an abridged edition of A Midsummer Night’s Aspiration, were being slated to choose location in January, but were being cancelled, as a lot of factors have been around the previous calendar year, thanks to COVID-19. Davis will now return to Blairstown from June 2nd – 14th to make guaranteed that the 6th graders this yr do not miss out on out on the well-known annual tradition.
Davis is also operating with a new Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Ketch who was among the a person of the 1st graduating lessons from Centenary University’s Academic Doctorate system. This connection to Centenary University has only strengthened Dr. Ketch’s guidance in assuring the Shakespeare Residency would in good shape into the school’s programming before the close of the calendar year and Davis has also expressed a mutual enjoyment for functioning jointly likely forward. Typically, learners are initial released to Shakespeare in ninth-grade through individual looking at assignments, but Davis disagrees with that course of action.
“Performative studying is the way to discover Shakespeare it is supposed to be read and not go through,” explained Davis. “By executing that listed here, they’re not likely to be scared of Shakespeare when they get to ninth-grade.” So why “A Midsummer Night’s Dream?” Davis himself was introduced to what would sooner or later be his life’s passion in a sixth-quality manufacturing of the comedy where he played Nick Base.
Centenary College graduate, Meghan Kolbusch will serve as assistant to Davis for the duration of the residency. This will be Kolbusch’s 5th yr aiding with the residency, as she participated whilst she was a pupil at the University and will now return post-graduation. Collectively they will operate with 65 sixth graders, 15 of whom are all virtual students at the elementary university. They will consider up the students’ fifty percent working day schedules and perform with them to build, rehearse and afterwards complete a chopping of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Desire. This 12 months to accommodate social distancing and keeping gatherings smaller sized, the a few homerooms that make up the sixth grade will every single acquire on the roles of the Athenians, the Mechanicals, and the Fairies, with a single course generating up each individual group. Also new this yr, the effectiveness will acquire put exterior, and will also be filmed and edited by Davis to accommodate people college students who are making use of virtual studying this educational year.
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Davis claims that his mission with the residency is, “to demystify and make Shakespeare available to all.” He continues, “Shakespeare wrote plays that ended up for all walks of daily life: for the groundlings, for folks who have been illiterate, for people in the court docket… I am hoping to give them factors that make them psyched about language, minimal fun nuances so that they can just engage in with phrases and perform with language.” And when asked about donating his time for this year’s system, he stated, “This is my way to give back again. I started off studying Shakespeare in sixth grade and it for good transformed my daily life, so I come to feel that it is critical to share what I have realized with these pupils. If even just one particular scholar discovers a passion for this work, it will indicate that this job has been a great good results. And following all that these college students have long gone by way of in the earlier calendar year, I required to make guaranteed no class obtained still left out.”
The residency will finish with an outside general performance June 10th, with a rain day of June 11th, and will be recorded and edited to include the digital learning learners. Davis teaches programs in Phase Beat, Theatrical Makeup, Performing, Theatre History, Theatre Appreciation, and Drama as Literature at Centenary University. He has served as the Centenary Phase Corporation struggle choreographer for Newsies, Peter Pan, Deathtrap, The Liar, Breakfast with Mugabe, Oliver!, and The Wizard of Oz. Davis has also directed many productions at CSC, most not long ago this season’s NEXTstage Repertory Output of Sweat by Lynn Nottage and the Youthful Audience Sequence clearly show titled: Shake it Up Shakespeare: Magic, Thriller and Mayhem, which he also authored and tailored for the stage. Davis has a BFA in acting from the Theatre University at DePaul University, as effectively as an MFA in directing from USC. As Affiliate Professor of Theatre Arts at Centenary College, Professor Davis was honored with both equally the 2014-15 Distinguished Trainer of the Yr Award and the 2010 -11 United Methodist Exemplary Educating Award. He teaches classes to all ages and is a member of AEA.
For additional information on the residency or if you’re fascinated in bringing any YAS productions to your university, visit centenarystageco.org or connect with the Centenary Phase Firm box office environment at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is open Monday as a result of Friday from 1:00pm – 5:00pm and two hours prior to all performances. The Centenary Phase Firm box business is located in the Lackland Executing Arts Heart on the campus of Centenary College at 715 Grand Avenue in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
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