News — 09 October 2017

By Rebekah Stein

When you think Shakespeare you usually don’t think 6th grade kids.  But TPA’s 6th graders are taking on Shakespeare in the entertaining production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Two of the 6th grade groups will perform this play in December and also in May.

6th gr play 2According to Mr. Sanderson, this has been a bit of a challenge as “students struggle with the transition from elementary school to middle school, especially if the school they had previously attended was not as rigorous as Tempe Prep.”  But this has taught the kids about the discipline it takes to put a play together and watch it slowly come together.  Only Tempe Prep would attempt such a challenge.  Per Mr. Sanderson, “Even mounting an abridged version of a Shakespeare play with a cast of 11-year-olds in only eight weeks is a small miracle.”

The first two weeks of class was mostly about helping the students in unlocking the language of the play and to understand every line.  “Once you get the hang of it, Shakespeare isn’t as hard to understand as most people think,” Mr. Sanderson said. “When Shakespeare was originally performed, it was meant for everyone of all ages and education levels.”

Mr. Sanderson chose this play because, unlike the previous 6th grade play, Our Town, there are really no leads and so everyone has a big part in this ensemble piece.

But even with all this hard work, the kids are having fun and it will be a memorable experience for them.  So, If you can’t make the Dec. 14 play at 6:30 p.m., don’t worry because you will get another chance to watch this “small miracle” in May.  See you at the show!

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