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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival
High Tech High performers at the first San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival (Beth Accomando)

Technically this is not a film event but I have to highlight the Third Annual San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival that takes place this Saturday April 26 in Balboa Park. I have been helping with this event since its inception because it combines two things I'm passionate about: Shakespeare and young people. Now in its third year, this is the dream project of the San Diego Shakespeare Society , a group of fabulous volunteers who work long and hard to bring the Bard to schools, young people, and San Diego in general. The Festival brings together kids from elementary through high school and even some home schools to perform Shakespeare in the park. There will be four stages this year along the Prado with the Festival kicking off at 12:30 pm in the Organ Pavillion. Performances run until about 3:30pm. And it's all free. The event is an absolute delight and I guarantee that you will be impressed by the student performers, many of whom are too young to be afraid of Shakespeare so they dive in with a gusto that is truly amazing. The energy level is high and it's a wonderful way to celebrate the Bard. But the Society is quick to point out that this event also provides a great educational experience for the students involved, and with so many schools reducing their focus on arts and literature, this proves how valuable both can be to a child's education. So come and join the celebration and enjoy some fine performances as well.

For more information visit the Festival website.

Wendy from San Diego
April 25, 2008 at 04:08 PM
Brace yourself - and be prepared to be captivated! These kids will astound you. The top performers from the last 2 years absolutely nailed their parts. Don't be surprised if these young stars end up with their names in lights someday soon. And you can say you saw their theatrical births. This Festival is a great gift to San Diego. Amazing that it's free.

Vanessa from San Diego
April 25, 2008 at 04:46 PM
I "stumbled" across this event last year when I first moved to San Diego and was so captivated, impressed and moved that I immediately emailed the Society. I was met with an enthusiastic and welcoming response by members of the Society and have since participated in staged readings and a musical Shakespeare event and am now fully involved in this year's Festival. The Student Shakespeare Festival is addictive. Do come along. To see these young people spouting Shakespeare's text with such assurity and confidence, to see and hear how they relish the words and find themselves performing language written over 400 years ago as if it trips off their tongues like their very own thoughts... to create drama... This is surely going to be an excellent day. San Diego is very, VERY lucky.

Alex from San Diego.
April 25, 2008 at 04:55 PM
Grrrrrrreat stuff just gotta see it to believe ....and then YOU will become a believer .....just as these students of all ages strut their full costume inhibitions.....they just want you to know that....THEY are such stuff as dreams are made on.......

April 25, 2008 at 06:26 PM
I attended last year's luvly event on a luvly afternoon along the Prado in Balboa Park. Great fun watching these kids belt off those great lines, prance around the stage as villains, heroes, and "fools" and in full costume. They were having great fun and so were the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who were snapping pictures of these young Shakespeare portrayers. I'll be there tomorrow for sure. Suggestion, bring a low leanback chair for comfort.

Trina Kaplan
April 25, 2008 at 08:21 PM
I had the pleasure of working with the Shakespeare Society, for the past two years, on this wonderful event. Everyone was so enthusiastic - from the octogenarians to the youngest person there. And what talent!! This past year, I had the privilege & pleasure to work with one of the young artists, Rebecca Myers, in a professional production. Let me tell you, she was as focused & committed as the adult members of the cast. This training pays off!! I will miss not being there this year.

elida chavez from San Diego
April 26, 2008 at 04:18 AM
This labor of love is fantastic! This is one more important way to keep our youth in knowing that there is someone with passion that offers great opportunities to be involved in the arts. Shakespeare and youth bring life to all the volunteers and the community. My professor, Tom Leach, has given me the stage to perform too...I finally am sharing my art with the community too. Special thanks to people who take interest in others and see the qualities that can be brought out that can create awesome people that will share their talents with all San Diegans. Love, Peace to all.

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