Freshman English classes participate in Shakespeare activities


Renna Popli

Freshman students read from scripts as they physicalize the words of Shakespeare.

Renna Popli, AVT Editor-in-Chief

This past Monday, freshman English classes participated in activities that helped to bring their current read — William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet — to life. 

“We’re coming to the classroom to try to make Shakespeare a little more accessible. We’re gonna play some games revolving around Romeo and Juliet, exploring text and kind of getting it into students’ bodies to really deal with the abstract language in an easier way,” said Evan Held, one of the organizers and leaders of the Shakespeare activities. 

Some of the activities the students participated in include acting out scenes in the play, performing physical actions to represent the text, and creating statues to symbolize certain scenes. 

“[These activities] make it more fun, and it shows that a lot of these themes are really relatable, especially in Romeo and Juliet. It’s about teenagers falling in love, families that don’t get along, and these are all things that still come up in life,” said event organizer and leader Anne Kobori

Activities like these are used to modernize complicated language and bring the Elizabethan playwright’s well-known words into a more accessible light. 

“I think [these activities] really help to deal with the fact that Shakespeare is really difficult to read off the page, and if you have these tools in your arsenal that help you just lift the words off, it becomes easier to parse and get through,” said Held.

However, these tools can be used to do more than just understanding plays. The purpose of these activities is to improve student’s confidence and bolster their public speaking skills on top of comprehending the classes’ current read.

“[The activities are] also practice public speaking, working together as a team, trying to create something. We encourage students to go see as much Shakespeare as possible, whether it’s films or seeing actual live theater, just so they can get a better sense of the text and what it actually is like,”said Kobori. 

Students found these activities both educational and fun, as an exciting and interactive way to learn content that might otherwise feel daunting. 

“I really enjoyed the Shakespeare activities because they were super fun and interactive. They also helped me understand the language better,” said Aanya Bhandari (‘23).