The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 11, 2014

Troupe to bring Shakespeare sonnets to life at Danville High School

— DANVILLE — Seniors at Danville High School are going to see some of the sonnets they have been studying come to life Wednesday when a Massachusetts-based theater company visits the school for special workshops and a performance.

The “Word Made Flesh” project from the Elements Theatre Company, of Orleans, Mass., came to the attention of students studying the sonnets of William Shakespeare, English teacher Annick Helbig said. The project hopes to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this year by “creating an online storybook of all 154 sonnets,” using audio and visual recordings of the work, according to the group’s website.

Several students reached out to the group to ask about specific sonnets while the 54 honors English students were analyzing the poems, Helbig said. The theater company decided they wanted to meet the seniors and give them some pointers on performing the Bard’s work.

“(They) said they were excited to see students getting involved and said, ‘Would it be OK if we came and (worked with the students)?’” she said. “Of course, we said yes.”

The troupe will conduct workshops with the honors students and instruct them on how to recite the poetry correctly, Helbig said.

“They’ll be helping the students to look a lot more deeply at the sonnets,” she said.

Then, the students will record their recitals of the sonnets to submit to the “Word Made Flesh” directory, which is online at wordmadefleshshakespeare.org.

The theater group also will perform Wednesday afternoon for honors and Advanced Placement English students, 63 youths in total, Helbig said.

“We’re really excited to have a global learning opportunity and to make these types of connections,” she said.

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