On February 1, students from drama teacher Maria Wishart’s class will be traveling to Kentucky Center for the Arts for Stage One’s production of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.
As Shakespeare can be a difficult piece to read, Wishart believes seeing the play is more effective than reading it.
“One challenge with Shakespeare is simply that plays are written to be viewed, not read. Much of what is supposed to come through in a play is what the actor brings out from the lines.
Another challenge is the complexity of the language, language changes over time. We don’t just struggle to understand Shakespearean plays, which were written over 400 years ago, we also struggle to understand English works written just 100 years ago–or sometimes even 50 years ago,” said Wishart.
Wishart believes field trips like this are beneficial to the students.
“There are many great reasons to take a field trip like this. I know that taking students out of their other classes is nothing to do lightly. For one thing, for some students, a field trip is the first time they have ever seen a play. Experiencing live theater is an important cultural experience no matter the play. For some students, that may be not just the first play they have seen; it may be the only play they ever see in their lives. For other students, having that experience will inspire them to become theater-goers on their own. They will take advantage of opportunities to see plays later in life and will appreciate the art form and the unique way that theater speaks to people,” said Wishart.
This is not Wishart’s first trip to Stage One. She believes theater gives her students a way for them to experience literature altogether instead of piece by piece.
“From a theater teacher standpoint, plays give students a chance to see and analyze a finished performance after we have discussed many of the background roles and tasks that go into putting a play on the stage. There is a deeper understanding of the skill and work and talent and varying roles involved,” said Wishart.
Story by Kaden Lewellyn