Shakespeare is coming to BMA this spring! English teacher Jim Norton treated the school to an impromptu performance of the first act of The Tempest on Monday morning when we arrived back from vacation. There were laughs aplenty and we are excited about bringing the entire play to life in May. Stay tuned for more details!
Jim explains the idea behind the competition and how it will all work:
Lauren and I decided to plan an all school reading of The Tempest this spring for a number of reasons. Primarily, we felt it would be both rigorous and engaging to take on Shakespeare once we were all back together as a community after the long winter and race season. Given the complexity of the text and the desire to create academic cooperation and collaboration, we settled on one play for everyone, so that students could always be reading and discussing in groups – in class, but also in the dorm, on the trails, in the RBC – regardless of grade level. While a final performance of some of the scenes had always been part of our plan, in true Burke fashion, the idea of making those presentations into a competition came from discussions I had with students throughout the winter.
The Tempest is a great play to begin a new spring tradition, it deals with intense themes of oppression and revenge, while also presenting young love, comedic encounters, and magic. Overall, whether this is the first work of Shakespeare that a student is reading, we want them to experience it as an enduring and important work of art, but also something that was created to be shared for entertainment. And while reading and understanding Shakespeare can be a challenge, BMA students never shrink from a challenge.