Semester is full of fun experiences, but few can rival the night one of our professors decided we would read through A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I was assigned to play Lysander, one of the leads, and around half of the other students got speaking roles. Most people weren’t familiar with the language of Shakespeare, and it wasn’t easy to figure out what the characters were saying. I’ve read a handful of Shakespeare plays before, so I was extremely excited to act out the lines with great enthusiasm.
We started, and right off the bat one of the students used an extremely over-the-top humorous voice for his character. This was the start of what become a night of slowly building energy. Some students started to stand up when they had a line. Because of all of the non-monotony and the slow expressive delivery, people began to realize that there are actually lots of jokes in Shakespeare’s plays. There were multiple roast battles, hilarious bursts of laughter, and everyone got quite engaged-something that most definitely would not have happened if we had all read in the basic monotoned voices lots of college students use when reading Shakespeare.
We got to Act 5, and the professor told us that we would no longer be simply reading, we would be acting out the last act like we were on a stage. Once this started, the actors began to try and upstage each other, and it became more and more entertaining. One student playing “the moon” even jumped on the furnace and used his iPhone flashlight for his character. The tension kept rising and it culminated with the characters dramatically dying.
Everyone involved had such a good time. That was months ago, and to this day everyone still quotes A Midsummer Night’s Dream in conversations-specifically the part where Shakespeare calls someone an “acorn” as an insult. Shakespeare was meant to be heard, not read, and I think this was a much more effective way to teach us the material than simply having us read the play. This was also one of my best memories from this Semester.
By Zachary Walker, Zachery is a 17-year-old high school senior from Springfield, Missouri. He has a deep passion for anything related to music. He plays piano, sings, does theatre, and composes. Summit’s incredibly intentional conversations and driven students are among the many reasons he chose to attend Semester.