Columbia High Shakespeare Festival Draws More Than 300 Students

Record number of students participated in the 12th annual event last Friday.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
More than 300 students—the most ever—participated last Friday in the 12th annual Columbia High School Shakespeare Festival.

Every student in the school had the opportunity to perform, watch, or both, as CHS English classes rotated in and out of the auditorium all day. The festival is a collaborative event involving several different disciplines, including drama classes and world literature. 

The festival is inspired by the school's Shakespeare Festival Club. Stephen MacPherson, a CHS English teacher and one of the festival's organizers, said that in addition to reading Shakespeare, the students in the club find ways to make Shakespeare feel familiar, by watching films, working on short scenes and exploring different themes.

The group is developing a collection of costumes and props with the help of grants from Achieve, SOMEA, Cougar Boosters and other private donors.

A new elective course curriculum on Shakespeare has been developed. The course is now in its third year, and has grown to two sections with nearly 60 students. According to MacPherson, the students in the class are always finding new ways to make Shakespeare relevant to their modern lives.


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