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Shakespeare on the Green: Starting a Conversation


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Throughout my career, one thing has been a constant, students inevitably groan when they are told that they will be studying a Shakespeare unit. Indeed, parents and even colleagues have questioned the value of studying Shakespeare.

On Monday 13 February, the English Department will be hosting a new event, Shakespeare on the Green. Production Company Shake and Stir will perform ‘Great Shakes’ which recontextualises Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet.

Shake and Stir’s mission is to give Shakespeare a contemporary edge. Expect high energy, loud music and dynamic cinematics.

Shakespeare has long had a place in the English curriculum. The Senior English Syllabus (2010) requires students across Years 11 and 12 to complete, “at least one in-depth study of a drama text…usually a Shakespearean drama” (p. 6).

There are also indications that a Shakespearean text could be stimulus for the English external exams when Queensland moves to this new system in 2019. Last Year Ormiston College participated in the English External Assessment Task trial. Shakespeare’s Macbeth was one of the two possible texts students could study.

The new Senior assessment system is currently proposing that students will complete four equally weighted assessment tasks, including the external assessment task, in English. This means that 25% of a student’s overall English result could be based on their ability to respond under exam conditions to a Shakespearean play.

As such, we invite you to join us in a discussion about the value in studying Shakespeare, and other literary texts.

Shakespeare on the Green is free event for Years 7 to 12 students and their families. The show will begin at 6:00pm on the Southern Courtyard and will be finished by 7:00pm

The English Department looks forward to welcoming you to this event and beginning this conversation with you.

Peter Hoens
Head of English and Drama Department

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