Surprise Shakespeare

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Imagine you’re walking through campus, minding your business, when all of a sudden you hear shouts.

Curious, you head towards the commotion and find yourself in the middle of a Shakespearean play.

Well, more like a scene from a Shakespearean play. But just as quickly as it all started, everyone runs away and the scene ends.

The gathered crowd claps and cheers and then continues on its way.

It’s called guerrilla Shakespeare and it’s the brainchild of Delta College English Instructor Paula Sheil, who teaches Shakespeare in her repertoire of classes.

Sheil was inspired by the surroundings and thought it an ideal location for the performances.

PHOTO BY KIRSTIE HARUTA

“Flash mobs, so popular now, were the inspiration,” Sheil said. “The idea would be to ‘expose’ students to Shakespeare in a novel way.”

Guerrilla Shakespeare is a type of street theater where actors perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.

Delta Drama Professor Harvey Jordan cast the actors for the Drama 26 course, part of the Repertory Workshop, and prepared the scenes from: “Hamlet,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Twelfth Night,” “As You Like It,” “Richard III” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

This unique type of performance provided a new, entertaining challenge for the students involved.

“I actually thought it was a fun and unique experience,” said Jacob Garcia, who played Richard III. “The fact that nobody knows it, the fact that we can watch our friends perform scenes and only [we know] the times.”

The cast put on 14 performances from May 3-13 all around campus, as well as a performance at nearby Stagg High School for students in an after-school program on May 10.

PHOTO BY JAMES STRIPLIN