Friday Shakespeare performance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 1999

planned at Clio Elementary

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

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Published Aug. 25, 1999

Much ado about something is going on in Clio.

That "something" will be on stage at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria of Clio Elementary School and everyone is invited to attend.

This week, 50 CES students have been excused from their regular class schedule to attend Camp Shakespeare. The on-campus workshop is being conducted by five artists in residence from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery and is funded by a grant from the Alabama Arts Council.

The fruits of their labor will be offered for everyone to enjoy when they perform Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" and they hope everybody likes it.

"Our students will come away from this experience with a greater appreciation of the theater," said principal Yamada Acosta, "and they’ll know a lot more about William Shakespeare."

Acosta applied for the grant to bring Camp Shakespeare to his school because it is his strong belief that the arts teach an appreciation of the beautiful things of life and are the basic things of learning.

The arts also teach students that there is more to theater than meets the eye.

"Speaking Elizabethan" was a bit harder than slinging slang and setting a stage was far harder than setting a clock and dancing a stage jig was equal to running a marathon.

Darian Aaron, dance instructor, put the students through the paces and it was hard for some to keep up. Sweating and smiling, the students raced around the room, getting in shape for the dance numbers.

"This is harder than football practice," one student quipped and leaned against the wall.

"No leaning! Give me ten," Aaron commanded and the student dropped to the floor to huff and puff and give Aaron 10 push ups.

Across the hall, Edward T. O’Brien was teaching the students the ins-and-outs of stage combat, which was not unlike World Championship Wrestling – a lot of fake and a lot of fun.

Rhett Luedtke taught the story. Ellise Mayor taught the song and Danny Gilroy set the stage.

Now, all that remains undone is the performance which will be talked about for some time to come on the streets of Clio and all around Barbour County.

"We appreciate the time and talents these young artists have devoted to our students. It is an experience our students will never forget because it has enriched their lives," Acosta said. "All that we need to make this week a really great success is to have the people of the community come out and support them when they take the stage."

There is no admission charge to the play and everyone is encouraged to attend.