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Having fun with Shakespeare

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Theatre games, improvisation, voice, movement and Shakespeare …. Venture Theatre is using every tool it has “to foster and inspire the next generation” of local actors. Mornings are spent in the classroom; in the afternoon students hit the stage to rehearse an abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Below, Kyla White, 12, and Jack McDonnell, 14, explain their attraction to Rowan Vickers’ annual intensive.

Q: Why did you sign up for last year’s summer intensive? Was it Shakespeare that appealed to you particularly or just the chance to get involved in a summer theatre programme? What made you return this year?

KW: I joined Venture Theatre's summer programme because I really enjoy theatre and acting and love that I can escape to become any character on stage. I had an amazing time last summer learning all about Shakespeare, which was definitely new, but I have found passion in theatre beyond just musical theatre [that I had previously been doing]. I didn't know how I would feel about performing and acting while using Shakespearean English but to my surprise I found it much easier than I expected. I had such a great first summer experience and I wanted to return for another summer with Venture Theatre.

JM: The reason I signed up was because I wanted to enhance my acting career, which is what I want to get into. The chance to get involved with a summer theatre programme appealed to me the most because I need to become more comfortable with theatre work. The reason why I returned this year is because I love the activities we do at camp and I like to meet new kids that have the same interests as me.

Q: Are you interested in an acting career? If so, in what area? If you are not interested in a career in acting, what might you want to do?

KW: I am interested in pursuing an acting career both in the theatre or in film whether that is full-time or a part-time activity. There is something to be said about the amazing energy I feel when I perform on the stage in front of a live audience, it makes me feel so upbeat and I love transforming myself into being a completely different person with a different personality.

JM: I am definitely interested in an acting career. I have chosen drama for my IGCSE subject and hope to get into an acting-focused university. I want to mainly act in films because I think I would find it fun and I would like to act in front of the camera.

Q: What specifically about acting appeals to you?

KW: I really enjoy putting myself out there and not worrying about what other people think of me while I am on stage. It is important to me to fully invest myself in the scene and the character because this allows the audience to feel that I am that authentic character.

JM: I like the feeling I get when I act. I like to make people feel happy when I perform and I really like improv the most because you don’t know what to expect.

Q: Do you perform in Bermuda throughout the year? If so, what have you done? Have you ever performed outside Bermuda?

KW: Over the last few years, I have performed in BMDS’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime, the Gilbert and Sullivan Production of Annie, [a] BHS theatre production and I have performed for the last ten years with In Motion School of Dance. Although I have not performed outside of Bermuda, I would very much like the opportunity one day.

JM: I have performed in the school plays at Warwick Academy since Year 5 but unfortunately in the past two years there were no school plays because of Covid. I am going to a performing arts camp in the United States, in Vermont, over the summer for three weeks to help my acting experiences.

Q: Does your school have a theatre programme? How active are you in it?

KW: BHS does have a theatre programme and they put on a drama production each year. This was my first year at BHS and I was part of this year's play which I thoroughly enjoyed.

JM: Yes. Every year the school puts on a play and I have taken part since I was ten.

Q: Best thing about the intensive is…..?

KW: The best part of this intensive is the outstanding acting programme Venture Theatre provides. I love that they include all aspects of theatre – tech and stage set-up, make-up, costumes, audition best practices and how to write a theatre resume. Rowan, Leigha and Alexandra have provided such a great experience where we learn so much, while also having a lot of fun and I would highly recommend this camp to any kids out there who have a passion for acting.

JM: I think that the best thing about the camp was all the different drama activities we did. Even though I am more interested in film, I enjoyed learning about Shakespeare and being on stage. The activities helped me with my emotions and voice projection. I enjoyed talking with the other kids at the camp because they have the same passion I have

Session 1 of Venture Theatre’s Drama Summer Intensive 2021 is under way; theatre-lovers ages 15 to 18 can enrol now for Session 2, which runs August 2 to 20. For more information, or to register: www.vtensemble.com

Students at Venture Theatre’s Drama Summer Intensive: Amaris Munya, Kiyana Minors, Sofia Nunez, Lara Burnet, Chloe Samuels, Tyler Rossouw and Alissa Outerbridge (Photograph supplied)
Rowan Vickers with Leigha Sinnott (left) and Alexandra Cockrell of Venture Theatre (Photograph supplied)
Students at Venture Theatre’s Drama Summer Intensive (Photograph supplied)
Venture Theatre students rehearsing a scene from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Pictured from left: Kyla White, Amelie Mulder Powell and Annie Pursell (Photograph supplied)
Kyla White shows off her stage make up (Photograph supplied)
Jack McDonnell (centre) at Venture Theatre’s Drama Intensive (Photograph supplied)

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Published July 22, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 23, 2021 at 8:03 am)

Having fun with Shakespeare

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