Center Stage will host its first Shakespeare Festival for high school student participation on the Bard's birthday, April 23.
Each scholastic group from Baltimore City and County schools has registered to perform a 15- to 20-minute Shakespearean scene or group of scenes before an audience and judges. Participants will also attend a Shakespearan drama workshop conducted by members from the current Center Stage production of "Twelfth Night."
Awards will be presented for acting, outstanding character acting, achievement in small or non-speaking roles, superior ensemble performances and numerous other categories. The panel of judges will include: David Olivenbaum, Center Stage Dramaturgy Fellow, and Betty Barnes, former chairwoman of the Maryland State Drama Association.
Margaret Tocci, education coordinator, organized the festival as part of the theater's expanding educational outreach program. According to Tocci, the purpose of the festival is to introduce students to Shakespeare's works performed in their intended setting -- the theater. "The young people will enrich their understanding of the plays and also learn that Shakespeare can be fun," she said.
Tocci added that the program will expand to include schools throughout the state in future years.
The public is invited to attend the performances, which will be scheduled throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants and guests are invited to wear Elizabethan costumes for the all-day session. The festival will also include samples of Renaissance entertainment such as lute playing, juggling, singing and dancing.
For further information, call the Center Stage Education Department at 685-3200.