Shakespeare Festival 2011

Ensemble Cast- "Comedy of Errors"

by Mindy Young

Our drama classes had the amazing opportunity of competing at the Utah Shakespeare Festival High School Competition in Cedar City, Utah on October 6, 7 and 8, 2011.  The students worked tirelessly preparing for the event. Before leaving the students were able to present their pieces at the Meridian Renaissance Fair on Tuesday October 4, 2011.  After the faire, the students loaded all the costumes and props into the van ready to leave for Cedar City.

At the competition, our students competed in Ensemble Scene with the “Comedy of Errors” where the students were all wigged and costumed to the hilt!  David Hootie Hennessey (who placed 4th), Kemish Estrada and Robert Oldroyd all competed in
the monologue competition.  Emma Lynn and Autumn Wahl competed with the rarely done French scene from Henry 5, and Madeline and Anna Cannon competed with a scene from Coriolanus.

The competition also offers a new Renaissance music competition where Caleb Allen sang accompanied by Eliza Allen on piano and
Chloe An on flute inspired by the Shakespeare play King John. Some of the students, with the assistance of our LS music teacher Heather Shallenburger, sang “The Sweet and Merry Month of May”.  Our Dance Ensemble group based on “Love’s Labour’s Lost” set in the 1920′s placed 2nd in the ensemble dance and our “Hamlet” performed by Bridger Barksdale and Ammon Loveless took 1st in the solo/duo dance.

Many of our International students attended and competed in the event and had a wonderful time.  Staying in the hotel and traveling together also proved to be an enjoyable bonding experience to begin the 2011-2012 school year!  Our international students had a lot to say about their experiences at the festival . . .

Kevin Li from China:

“….we dressed up those funny costumes and went to perform our song.  Judges are very kind, I like those guys.  Even we also have some problems,we really did good job.  All of us had a beautiful memory.  That’s enough.  That’s all we want.”

Bobby Chen from China:

“I love the play and our school’s play. I love the many beautiful dancers. See some play, it helps me to understand their language and improve my English. I love this festival.  It makes me so fun and happy! I love Meridian school. I love my life!”

Maria Spethman from Germany:

“In our last meeting before the ensemble performance, we did some speaking exercises; Mindy wished us good luck and gave us last instructions. Then we went to the theatre hall and the play started. They were great! It got a fantastic performance and we all were enthusiastic! The jury
liked the performance, too. We took many photos of them with the costumes and enjoyed this great feeling.” ….”Then we had to prepare for our
dancing show. After we had put on our dresses, and have our hair and make-up done (it wasn’t as much as the prostitutes from the play had, but it was still much), we looked for the right building where we had to perform. In the last minute we found it and gave our best at our dancing show. I think we did quite well.”

SiJing Li from China:

“I think I will never forget the time there. I saw all of the passion of all of the people participated. I’m not an expert in drama shows and I don’t understand it completely but I really have to admit that it was amazing and enjoyable. The monologues were awesome, too, they were not even nervous and they forgot themselves on the stage. I learned a lot from them like confidence.  Like passion and devotion. I wish I was in it too, but actually I was.  I want to keep it in my diary and most importantly in my heart for my whole life.

From Rui Zhou from China:

“It is a really an amazing experience for me. I am proud of our actors and teachers.  They prepared it really exciting. I saw all the shows. It is amazing. They are outgoing and pay all attention to the show. This is one thing I need to study.  And I need to practice to become an outgoing girl. So this experience is very meaningful to me. I studied a lot. And these days I will remember forever.”

See more Shakespeare 2011 pictures on Meridian’s Facebook page.