The Ramsdell Brings Shakespeare’s work and wisdom to Onekama Students

ONEKAMA — The seventh grade class of Onekama Middle School made the short trip to The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts on Friday to view a live program

Seventh grade students from Onekama Middle School travelled to The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts on Friday to view a live program presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company.

Seventh grade students from Onekama Middle School travelled to The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts on Friday to view a live program presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company.

presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company.

The program, titled “Shakespeare 101,” was a 45-minute program of scenes from multiple Shakespearean plays, which introduced students to some of the history of performance in Shakespeare’s time period. Featuring scenes from Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the program brought Shakespeare’s world to life with live performance and narration that gave students context for the scenes and characters.

The performance was followed by a question and answer session, in which students were able to share their reactions to the performance, and ask members of the Company questions about the plays, the playwright, and the acting process.

Explained Ramsdell executive director Xavier Verna, “A strong majority of the students in Manistee County who participate in the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts outreach programs are experiencing live presentations for the first time. We recognize the importance of educating youth through arts and culture. We are engaging our future audience, and we are also exposing them to quality presentations.”

“I am so grateful for cultural educational experiences in our community directed at students,” commented Onekama middle school English teacher Megan McCarthy. “There is so much that my students can learn — from Shakespeare, but also from the experience of live theater. What a blessing the Ramsdell is to this area.”

More than 400 years later, Shakespeare’s timeless words remain powerfully wise. As the character Polonius says to Laertes in Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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