Middle schoolers stage Shakespeare

"Midsummer Night's Dream" good for kids, teacher says
Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:59 AM

The Pi Beta Phi Middle School theater department will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Thursday at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. The play, a romantic comedy that centers on a love spell gone awry, is being directed by seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher Jeff Ginn.

Students were originally scheduled to perform for their peers at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, but plans had to be changed because the school closed for inclement weather. As they say in theater, though, the show must go on, so Ginn worked around the setback, rescheduling the school performance for today.

Ginn, a Shakespeare enthusiast, said he chose the play because it is a good one to use in introducing the Bard's work to students of this age group. "We wouldn't try to tackle 'MacBeth,'" he said with a laugh.

Ginn explained that this particular version of the play is geared toward middle-school students. After seeing the play performed at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, he made some modifications to the script, and began making plans to stage the performance.

Albert Werner, who plays Lysander, said, "We have a good time when we practice. Mr. Ginn is really funny." Werner and the rest of the cast hope for a good turnout tonight and believe the play will be well received by the audience.  Referring to the scene in which Titania awakens and falls in love after drinking the potion, Werner exclaimed, "We have this one scene where someone turns into a donkey. I think that will definitely leave a mark!"

Ginn said his greatest challenge has been getting the students used to the language and having them channel their energy in a constructive way. The students are receptive, he said. "I want to challenge them. I never want to talk down to them," Ginn explaied.

Ginn encouraged everyone to come out to support the arts, and to find out first hand the mayhem that results when a fairy king tampers with the affairs of mortals.

jfrye@themountainpress.com