“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears…”

Through the efforts of Middle School English teacher Annie Powell and a grant from the NYA Parents’ Association, Portland Stage will hold a Directors Lab with the eighth grade class on Wednesday, February 21 from 8:50 to 11:15 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room. The Directors Lab at Portland Stage travels to schools to perform truncated stage productions of Shakespeare’s plays, then conducts workshops with the students. This year the Directors Lab is performing Julius Caesar, which the eighth grade is reading this semester. The forty-five-minute production chooses texts that inspire and incite conversation among students. Afterwards, students will have the opportunity to “direct” those scenes in a workshop with the actors, who are professionally trained teaching artists.

“One of the most important ways to understand Shakespeare is to see it firsthand,” said Powell. “This will invite students to both hear and see the language, which can otherwise feel completely foreign to students (particularly younger students). Moreover, both seeing the play and interpreting the language in workshops with trained actors encourages students to experience multiple ways of interpreting the same material, and they can then see how interpretation can affect perception and meaning,” explained Powell. “Students get to work with the text as actors, encouraging stronger personal, emotional, and thoughtful connection to classic literature.”

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.