Shakespeare Day, as we like it


Senior Eric Rosenblatt, along with junior Ariel Waldman, reenacted a scene from Richard III and won first place in Ms. Schulman’s Theater Arts scene contest.

Sabina Unni, Contributing Writer

Once a year, students are able to miss classes and watch their peers perform on the main stage.  They can thank William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Day has become an outlet for student creativity in all senses of the phrase, allowing students to create videos, performances, sonnets, masks, cupcakes, t-shirts, portraits, and songs.  Students and teachers alike are involved in organizing a variety of events.

One of the most popular skits was a Pitch Perfect parody performed by Shakespeare Coordinators seniors Sabrina Brennan, Nate Krantz, and Amelia Pacht, juniors Sophie Brett-Chin, Jina Lay, Sameer Nanda, and Sabina Unni, and sophomore Raj Talukdar on piano.

The student coordinators covered the finale mash-up song from the popular film, changing the lyrics to accommodate the occasion.  The song made brief but funny references to Shakespeare plays. The performance stayed true to the original play the coordinators gracing the stage with sleek dance moves.

Each year, competitions accompany festivities.  Ms. Sari Schulman Theater Arts class competed in a scene contest, in which they explored the depths of various scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.

“I think Shakespeare Day was especially good this year.  I think it was well organized.  The scene contest was amazing; I know I enjoyed participating in it,” said junior Rachel Ellerson.

Junior Ariel Waldman and senior Eric Rosenblatt took home first place with their reenactment of Richard III.

The cupcake contest challenged students to mesh themes of Shakespeare plays and delicious treats.  The freshman team of Leonie Lerner, Jeremy Lee, and Eli Lefcowitz won first place.

“It was quite the difficult journey.  I’d say our experience was one of a kind.  Our struggle for success only made it more fulfilling when we came out victorious,” said Lerner.

Coordinator Sameer Nanda judged the portrait contest, a test of artistic abilities and creativity to think of Shakespeare characters beyond words.  Among other competitions of artistic merit were the mask contest and the t-shirt contest.

The winning t-shirt features the works of Juniors Lena Kogan and Sally Kuan, displaying a paper coffee cup with Shakespeare’s face and an application of a a Shakespeare quote.

“Shakespeare is one of history’s most influential figures. His acumen on the human mind and nature was far beyond his years and sometimes we forget this and don’t value Shakespeare’s works as much as we should.

That’s why Shakespeare Day is so important—it helps us understand the incredible talent that this one man had in a fun and interesting setting,” said  Nanda, hammering home the importance of Shakespeare Day as a reminder of poetry and culture’s presence.

This year, Schreiber welcomed two professional actors paid for by the HSA  for a performance called Hip-Hop Shakespeare, which drew parallels between contemporary rap and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

This interactive show inspired enthusiasts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Notorious B.I.G. alike.  Unfortunately, students were confused rather than impressed by the hip-hop  act.

Without the dedicated work of English teacher, Ms. Donna Valenti, Shakespeare Day would cease to exist.  Ms. Valenti oversaw and organized everything that students saw on the stage this year, and also created videos with her classes.  Students involved in the organization process were glad to see that their hard work paid off.

“A lot of work went into Shakespeare day, but it was definitely worth it. We were able to write a lot of funny bits as well as organize some awesome musical performances from Schreiber staff and students. I think it brings greater appreciation for Shakespeare and his works in a wonderfully enjoyable way. I really hope everyone had as much fun as we did.” said Brennan.