Upper School Students Learn Shakespeare Through Performance
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Upper School Students Learn Shakespeare Through Performance

Lausanne freshmen are currently learning Shakespeare through both reading and performance in their Upper School English class.

The students are currently reading Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare. Instead of simply reading the play in a classroom setting, Upper School teacher Heather Clagett took the class to the Elder Performing Arts Center lobby to take turns performing one of the earlier scenes in the play. 

"We have been doing this for a few years now," said Clagett. "Instead of simply reading, performing allows the students to better grasp what is happening in the play and gets them used to the Shakespearean language." 

The play is believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centers on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as a male named Cesario) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with Countess Olivia. Love triangles and mistaken identities make for a fun foray into this classic text.

For the students, the chance to take the class out of the classroom and learn through acting allows them to gain a better understanding of the characters they are reading about.