saturday night, we went to the kids’ school to see liesl’s 8th grade class perform a midsummer night’s dream. like they did when they studied renaissance history while learning and performing an opera (which i wrote about here), this last bit, they’ve been learning about shakespearean england (liesl’s working on a custom book about shakespeare, with sketches and a biography and a bunch of other stuff). the dad of one of her classmates is a theater professor at university of san diego. he edited a midsummer night’s dream (only shortening it to about 75 minutes, instead of the orginal 2 1/2 hours, not changing any of the lines), then met with the class over a series of weeks to explain the whole thing, including having them retell it in a modern context (and with modern language).
every one of the 24 kids in liesl’s class was in the play (something you sure wouldn’t see in a play performance at a regular school), and it was absolutely fantastic. so stinking funny. and pretty amazing to watch these 13 year-olds performing rhyming shakespearean english for 75 minutes without one gaffe.