SHREVEPORT, La. (KMSS/KTAL) – A timeless tale of the ages is told at Louisiana State University of Shreveport. Where students are learning that “All the World’s a Stage.”
“Oh for a muse of fire, the woods ascends the brightest heaven.” Words from more than 400 years ago continue into the modern age.
It’s Shakespeare being recited by actors with the Texas Shakespeare Festival who came to coach students at LSUS before hosting a live performance of the famous Shakespearean play, “As You Like It.”
“Which is one of Shakespeare’s greatest, funniest, most accessible plays. It’s a play about growing up. Being estranged from your family. About falling in love,” said Dr. Helen Taylor, Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs LSUS.
Dr. Taylor said “As You Like It” is also known for challenging gender issues because back in the 1600s’ of England, only men could be actors, and the main character swaps gender.
“So you’ve got a boy playing a girl, playing a boy, playing a girl. I mean that’s fantastic stuff and Shakespeare is really playing around with gender issues and thinking about what are the appropriate roles for men and for women. Particularly when it comes to falling in love,” Taylor said.
Students challenged themselves during an acting workshop. They learned how move around in a theater, loosen up, and what kind of movements an audience would see.
“I think it was great. I think it was a good opening experience with all my peers to get to know each other and let loose,” said Peyton McClung, LSUS freshman.
McClung encourages other students to be bold and go on stage.
“Let loose. Have fun. Go out there and have a great time. You’re not going to embarrass yourself in front of anybody. We’re all going to have a great time. We’re all going to learn. We’re all going to grow as peers. So you might as well do it together,” Mcclung said.
Darius Freeman graduated from drama school and now coaches acting. He said if students can nail Shakespeare, they can recite anything.
“We need more kids who want to pursue their dreams and want to create stories. With not only their bodies but with their minds and their souls. So to come here and have all the kids be enthusiastic and work with us is such a special feeling and I’m just grateful to be here,” said Darius Freeman, Texas Shakespeare Festival Roadshow.
“Assume the port of Mars,” he calls out to the students. The actors also got the students to think about the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words.
“When you think of Mars, what do you think of besides the planet?” asked one actor. “The Roman God of War,” replied a student. “Yes! Nailed it!”
The play, “As You Like It” is famous for its phase “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”
“So in that way, Shakespeare is talking to us about ways to deal with other people, and ways to deal with our feelings. What are the right ways to act and what are the wrong ways to act, and what happens in between. So he is a timeless writer who talks to us about ourselves,” Taylor said.
As these players learn their roles, “A kingdom for a stage!” they belt out, they are our Standout Students.
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