Shakespeare in Performance 

Spotlight PhotosWhat You Will, 2014Actress Sarah Landry (spring, 2014)Claire Kirsch, Sophie Pakulak, Annemarie AllenYou don’t know you are beautiful!Dance PartyLeslie Nagel as Beatrice in Spring, 2013 production of Much AdoCharles Atkinson and Charles CarlisiPlaying the Ritz Carleton Beach Hotel, Naples, FloridaPeter Atkinson, Zac Harned, Annemarie Allen, Charles Atkinson, Michael HaydenPerformance for Palmetto Ridge, Spring, 2013Green Room: Sean McMahon and Jenn DavidsonAwesome OlsonActress Jenn DavidsonWhat You Will, 2014Actor Andrew Olson as Malvolio (spring, 2014)Much Ado, Spring, 2013Audience shotbackstageRehearsals, 2014Nick Ciavarra plays Feste! (spring, 2014)celia and rosalind: Andrea Allphin and Vanessa TompkinsFlex by actor Zac HarnedContact FormWhat You Will, 2014


A Classroom for a Stage and 

Students to Perform the Swelling 

Scene!

By Shirley Anghel

       Shakespeare in Performance is 

a student acting troupe that presents 

the plays according to originalist 

practices of rhetoric and theater space.  

The troupe is part of a minor of studies

directed by Renaissance scholar, Dr. 

Travis Curtright, at Ave Maria 

University. The capstone project of the 

minor is a Shakespeare production, which 

includes educational outreach to high 

school audiences.  Dr. Curtright, director 

of the plays, professionally trained at the 

American Shakespeare Center in 

Staunton, Virginia. He regularly teaches 

a course on Shakespeare for the 

literature department as well.

         Lead actor Zachary Harned 

previously performed in the Naples 

Players’ Sherlock Holmes production 

and has been invited to act with 

Shakespeare in Paradise, Inc.; he has 

also acted in several short independent 

films. When asked about his experience 

with this troupe, Harned said, “Curtright 

has the understanding of an artist and of 

a professor. Having worked in a variety 

of settings, I really appreciate and love 

having this combination in a director.”

         The productions feature actors’ 

training in voice, rhetoric, and prosody, 

which includes analyzing Shakespeare’s 

figures of speech, diction, and metrical 

patterns.  They also consider carefully the 

addressee for each character's lines.  Just 

like with productions at Shakespeare's 

Globe, the actors may "take lines to the 

house" or directly speak to audience 

members.  See how a saucy Beatrice 

speaks to an audience member for 

an example:


To learn more about how the troupe 

trains, visit "Our Approach."

         When asked about her experience 

with Shakespeare in Performance, 

actress Rebekah Sauls said, “It’s brought 

me out of myself so much … I feel free to 

grow as an actress.” Sauls added that she 

“loves how you are constantly challenged 

because every night is a different 

performance [which demands] a

constant reinvention of the character 

and of yourself as an actress.”

         Though the troupe remains true to 

Shakespeare's language, it often "updates" 

the music, selecting more modern songs to 

accompany the action.  Troupe members 

select and perform songs both before the 

show and at intermission, which they think

captures a theme of the play.  In tribute to 

a rough courtship between Benedick and 

Beatrice,  for example, the actors worked 

out a version of "Shady Grove":


            Finally, as part of the productions, 

actors participate in an educational 

outreach program by doing “talk backs” 

with student audiences.  They will not 

only perform a play but also discuss it.  

The troupe specially schedules 

performances and talk backs for teachers 

and their students.  As reviewers show, 

Shakespeare in Performance delights all 

audiences!  Visit "More Artistic Talent 

and "My Heels Up" and More 

Reviews." 

© C3 2012