Acting Apprentice Sasha Neufeld let's us in on her Fall Festival of Shakespeare process thus far.
SASHA: Fall 2013, the moon's thrill absorbed by the large glass entrance of the Green Center of the Performing arts in good ol' Greencastle, Indiana. With a skeptic's gait I entered the Green Center and with a curious pace reached the Moore Theatre where the DePauw University was hosting their first Fall Festival of Shakespeare.
Between the time I entered and sat in a theatre seat, I was bombarded by the echoes of children's laughter, nerves, anxiety, pride, love, parents, and crumbs of anticipation. They were running about the space warming up and greeting friends. The space was filled with light which carried over into the performances where the students in the audience were just as energetic in their bucket seats as the students who were performing onstage.
After the last bow I was certain I had made the right choice in straggling over regardless of my skepticism and the wrong choice in letting that straggle stumble my stride into enrolling in the Shakespeare in the Schools course. Then came Portland Playhouse. After being accepted into the acting apprenticeship, much to my surprise, I learned that the playhouse also participated in the Fall Festival! I could not be more delighted to get that second chance.
So far, I have spent 14 hours in the past week with the students at Franklin High School, and not one minute of it has failed to disappoint my expectations. After 3:30 PM in the theatre of Franklin High School the students are full of a ferocious eagerness to play, learn, and engage in anything that Jake, Mr. Forsythe (Franklin's theatre teacher), and I throw their way.
I selfishly anticipated to learn more from these students than they will from me and as much as I hope I can teach them, what they have taught me in just a week is incomparable to what I could possibly teach them in the next three months. We have cast the show as blind as possible. By blind I mean, color-blind, gender-blind, physical type-blind, and hope pushing these limits will inspire the students like they have inspired me, that in fact the only limits are the ones you put on yourself.
Shakespeare knows no bounds.
Franklin High School, where Sasha is co-directing, will be performing in our Fall Festival of Shakespeare at the Winningstad Theatre on November 22nd. Click here for more info!