Schreiber students participate in annual Shakespeare Day


Last year’s seniors, Valentina Scotto, Julia Gurlitz, and Emma Goldman perform an original song on stage at Shakespeare Day. This year’s coordinators will be participating in similar performances.

Emily Levine, Staff Editor

On April 17, Schreiber is hosting its annual Shakespeare Day event.  Every year, Ms. Donna Valenti, the head coordinator, along with selected students, plan Shakespeare Day themed activities and performances to honor the revolutionary playwright.

Usually, Shakespeare Day happens on April 23 because that is Shakespeare’s birthday.  However, because of the 2019 Spring Break, the event had to be held earlier than normal.

While Shakespeare Day may not be nationally observed, National Talk Like Shakespeare Day was first launched in 2009 by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  The holiday was inspired by another day devoted to talking in character: International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  In 2011, the state of Illinois announced April 23 as Talk Like Shakespeare Day, which gives the theater efforts official recognition.

“I think Shakespeare Day will be very enjoyable this year! There are a lot of pop culture references that people who don’t know Shakespeare will get and, I hope, find amusing,” said junior Jordan Krainan.

Schreiber has been running Shakespeare Day for many years now, and it has become a school tradition.  This year’s Shakespeare Day coordinators have been preparing for about four months, and have many activities planned for throughout the day.

Every year, Ms. Valenti organizes the event in an effort to ensure that every performance is performed to perfection.

Much appreciation for Ms. Valenti is echoed throughout the school, especially by the student Shakespeare Day Coordinators.  This year, seniors Daisy Griffin, Sarabeth Schiff, Rachel Silberg, and Piper Woods teamed up with juniors John Alexander, Jordan Krainin, Hannah Siskin, and Derrick Weisburd to organize Shakespeare Day.

“Some performances include skits with Shakespeare characters, or more improvisational types of things, like game shows or other student-written skits,” said junior Shakespeare Day coordinator Hannah Siskin.   “Ms. Shulman’s theater arts class will be performing their Shakespeare scenes.”

The students involved in the event have experimented with their own creative abilities as they wrote, directed, and acted in videos and plays which are meant to poke fun at some of Shakespeare’s many plots or morph the playwright’s scripts into recent movies or pop culture trends.

The day’s celebration is not only limited to the participation of the Shakespeare Day coordinators, but also to Ms. Schulman’s Theater Arts class and Ms. Valenti’s Shakespeare Class.  Ms. Valenti also organized a mask and sonnet contest where students submit their best mask or sonnet in hopes of winning a prize.  The prize and winners will be revealed at Shakespeare Day.

“Shakespeare Day is always an entertaining event. It breaks up the day really nicely since some teachers take their classes to the auditorium instead of regular class that today. It’s also very well organized, so that allows students to have fun whether they’re in the audience or on stage,” said sophomore Sophie Penson.  “I’m looking forward to it.”

Various teachers will accompany their class to the event throughout the day, and many students are very excited to participate and watch the event.