Winter 2016 l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e - 1 7 Robert Murphy Jackson ’17 Theatre Performed in Hamlet and The Tempest Linfield Theatre Shakespeare matters to modern society because he understood people. As an actor, my job was to tell the story the playwright wrote, so people could connect and empathize with at least some part of the performance. What makes Shakespeare brilliant is that he wrote things that everyone could feel. Even modern audiences can understand forbidden loves, plotted vengeance, and, in our play, forgiveness. A testament to his work is how long it has survived and the many shapes it can evolve into in order to fit the needs of the audience. Shakespeare is relevant because we still feel for him and his stories. Sammi Palmer ’15 English English teacher at Powers High School Dramaturge intern, Portland Shakespeare Project As much as we like to think that humanity has changed in the last 400 years, we really haven’t. We still grapple with the issues that plague Shakespeare’s vivacious characters: love, loss, racism, betrayal, greed, envy, remorse... People of all ages and professions can relate to the feeling of Shakespeare’s work, if not the obscure references. And for students, it offers a world of glittering language so unlike modern English that it’s almost magical. I love working through his plays with my students. Last fall, I taught a Tempest unit with tie-ins to Linfield’s recent production. I shared the department’s photos with my class and snagged some cast and crew interviews to give my students a “behind the scenes” view of the play. That’s the power of a small college! Joanna Buchholz ’16 English literature Dramaturge for several Shakespeare productions There’s a reason that Shakespeare’s works have stuck around so long, and it’s because they are adaptable to new contexts. After working as a dramaturge for two productions this year – Twelfth Night, put on by the Portland Shakespeare Project, and Linfield’s The Tempest – I was struck by how different they both were. One was a historical piece set in Elizabethan England, while the other took place in a post-apocalyptic future deeply affected by climate change and technocracy. I am fascinated by the way you can take any Shakespeare play, and then warp and twist it to fit whatever vision or agenda you might have. Shakespeare coined over 1,700 of the words and phrases we use every day, so not only has the Bard had a profound impact on the history of theater, but also on the development of literature, writing, and the way we think. Antoine Johnson ’19 Theatre Played Caliban in The Tempest Linfield Theatre Shakespeare is still relevant today for many reasons. His plays and poems teach society how to not only love, dream and hate all at the same time, but they’re also used as a message. I say this after having a firsthand experience in The Tempest directed by Janet Gupton. His flexible writing style gave her the ability to alter the show in several ways to relay our school’s message to the community – that we can create great things if we recycle and reuse the right materials.
2016 Linfield Magazine Winter
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