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Bear Stage Players attend Renaissance Festival

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The Bear Stage Players recently attended the Texas Renaissance Festival.

The Bear Stage Players recently attended the Texas Renaissance Festival.

The Bear Stage Players recently attended the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Alora Jones and Rylee LeVasseur

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This past Tuesday, the Bear Stage Players traveled to the Texas Renaissance Festival to compete in three monologue, two duet, and two group scene competitions on various stages around the festival park.

The students began preparing their pieces in September and have worked diligently to overcome challenges to get ready to compete. According to theatre director Clark Reed, a requirement for the festival is that all performance material be from the Renaissance time period.

“This requirement makes young actors choose more difficult material (i.e. Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton etc.),” Reed said. “In doing so, student actors are presented particular challenges by having to interpret and perform the imagery rich, poetic verses of Shakespeare’s Iambic Pentameter. Performing works written in such heightened language also improves young actor’s diction and articulation skills as well as expanding the student actors’ minds.”

The actors faced the challenge of memorizing scenes with language that is uncommon in today’s vernacular, along with the usual pressures of performing. Being able to adjust and adapt to characterization is a necessary skill in order to become a well-rounded actor. By competing with scenes from different time periods, the students gained much experience.

“Any time a performer performs in front of a judge and receives a critique, it is beneficial for the young actor,” Reed said. “The sense of competition brings out the best in young artists and knowing their work is being criticized makes them prepare even harder to help ensure success. Regardless of how competitions turn out, the student actor comes away with performance experience and a critique from an expert on how they can improve in the future. It also gives the students an idea of what it was like to perform in that time period, without the luxuries of modern technology.”

Junior Ashlyn Ellis and sophomore Jadyn Stack said that competing helped them grow as actresses by stretching their acting skills through the preparation process and giving them experience for future performances. They said that the most challenging part of competing was the time they spent anxiously waiting for results.

“Those going to Renaissance Festival have absolutely improved through this process,” Reed said. “It always amazes me to hear students read a Shakespeare scene the first time and barely be able to read it, much less know what they are talking about, and by the end of the process they have a full understanding of exactly what they are saying and can portray the exact emotions and feelings Shakespeare intended.  I’ve seen tremendous growth not only from our newcomers, but also from our seasoned veterans. Working with Shakespeare always improves the talents of the actors, whether they enjoy it or not, they come out of this process a more seasoned and experienced performer.”

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Bear Stage Players attend Renaissance Festival