Shakespeare Visits Brewster

Deanna Torrisi and Christina Prunesti perform while Kathleen Garrahan and Courtney Crozier look on. Photo courtesy Robert LoAlbo
Deanna Torrisi and Christina Prunesti perform while Kathleen Garrahan and Courtney Crozier look on. Photo courtesy Robert LoAlbo
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival visited Brewster High School recently to educate, entertain, and enlighten Brewster students in the ways of theater and Shakespeare.

Through a grant from the Brewster Education Foundation and the Brewster High School PTSA, two of HVSF's actors met with students from teacher Robert M. LoAlbo's Shakespeare class. For three hours, students were guided through interactive, full-contact Shakespeare workshops that brought new and exciting ways for the high school's students to practice and hone their recently-developed skills.

Through the guidance of seasoned Shakespearean actors James III and Mark Couchot, who brought with them additional skills in improvisation and choreography, 34 high school students were led through activities that included unpacking and embodying a character, establishing character motivation, achieving a better understanding of Shakespeare's language, and developing stage presence and movement through physicality, facial expression, and stage combat. During that time, the actors challenged the students' skills, surprised their expectations, and invigorated their passion for the Bard.

“As a teacher, I am consistently looking for new and exciting ways for our students to enjoy learning, appreciate literature, and make memories that involve both of those ideas. Inviting the Hudson Valley players here helped us to achieve that goal a hundredfold,” stated Shakespeare teacher Rob LoAlbo. “I've always admired the work that Hudson Valley has done both on the stage and in education. They are just an amazing group. It was such an honor to have them here to share their craft with us.” 

With a focus on the comedies and histories of Shakespeare, Mr. LoAlbo's class has spent the past semester studying the language, theater styles, and acting techniques of Elizabethan theater, examining these ideas in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado about Nothing, and Henry IV Part 1. This visit from HVSF is the culmination of his class, with his students being able to further their knowledge base in the company of professional Shakespearean actors. 

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, located in Garrison, NY at Boscobel, opens their 28th season on June 10th and runs until August 31st with plays that include Two Gentlemen of VeronaOthello, and The Liar.


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