The Shakespeare Slam is back again for an exciting year

Valerie Arellano, Staff Reporter

 After a year of being virtual, Shakespeare Slam is starting up again and the members are very excited for the start of a new year.

The Shakespeare Slams sponsor, Ms. Samantha Chapleau is excited for this year.

 Chapleau is very excited for being back in person this year.

 “I’m really happy that we aren’t fully virtual like we were last year, last year we had to film via zoom and it is so hard to stage a scene via zoom because you’re in different spaces and it just doesn’t look as good. I’m excited to actually film and be in the same room this year as each other so right now I’m seeing all the pros I’m not really seeing the cons.” 

The group is performing the first scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

   Chapleau and the members are adding their own unique spin to it by showing some more female leads in the play.

 “We have the onerous task of the very first scene of the play, there’s actually going to be two parts and two full productions that are filmed, so we are the very first scene performed. We decided to make a character female because we wanted to play around with some gender issues in the play. In particular we see a lot of male characters in the play trying to oppress the female characters. The opening scene starts with a male character forcing a female character to marry him so we kind of see the role of the women being oppressed,” she said.

  Unfortunately there are no in person competitions this year due to COVID.

 This play was chosen because they wanted to do comedy this year. 

 “We chose the play for a few reasons because after 2 years of covid, they made it a comedy. Last year they did Hamlet so they did tragedies now they decided to do comedy. It’s a very relatable play because the play has a lot of issues that this year’s high school students are interested in things like conflicts with parents, conflicts with friends, and conflicts with significant others. It covers all of that and it’s a fantasy so even if those issues don’t speak to anybody it’s got fairies and lots of magic.”

Junior Anna Gee, is excited for what this year has in store.

 “I was a fully virtual student last year, so I couldn’t participate in any extracurricular activities. so i’m super excited honestly just to be here and do everything that i couldn’t last year, which for sure includes acting,” she said.

 Gee joined Shakespeare Slam because she enjoys the feeling of acting and being onstage, she took it as a chance to learn Shakespeare herself. 

 “I joined Shakespeare slam because I’ve been in the fall play and really enjoyed the feeling of acting and just being onstage. Plus, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about how to read and understand Shakespeare,” she said. 

Gee is putting her own unique spin on it by calling out society back then and now.

“Typically, Egeus is portrayed as a male to play into the “overprotective, overbearing father” trope, but our twist is that Egeus is a woman. It doesn’t sound like a drastic change, but it’s a call-out on society; specifically the male patriarchy that still has a hold on how we view women. So instead of this external and outward sexism, it’s an internal patriarchy that Egeus is pushing onto her daughter. We also shed light on a noticeable generational difference between a parent and their child.”

Junior Jayla Lee, is focused and excited for this year.

“I’m most excited to go to Navy Pier and see what everyone has made,” she said.

Lee’s goal is to memorize her lines in time and she’ll accomplish that by reading her lines over and over again. 

 “A goal I hope to accomplish is mesmerizing all my lines in time. I’ll accomplish this by reading my lines over and over again during free time,” she said.

 Lee joined Shakespeare slam because she likes Shakespeare. 

“I joined because I like Shakespeare and some of my friends were joining. 6. I play Lysander and Demetrius, two of the main characters who are interchangeable, so what we decided to do was make a mask where one side has a mustache on it while the other doesn’t.”