News & Announcements

Celebrate the Month of April with a Shakesperience - Centenary Style!

03/12/2014, 02:20 PM

Hackettstown, N.J. – Centenary College Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Stephen Davis is yet again enriching the minds of students in grades 5 through 12 through his passion for “The Bard.” Partnering with the Folger Shakespeare Library located in Washington, D.C., Davis is spreading his love for Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets though workshops and performances. What better way to pay tribute to Shakespeare than to celebrate him during the month of April – the month of Shakespeare’s birth and death?
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., provides the public with numerous programs such as plays, concerts, literary readings, numerous K-12 and college programs for students as well as development workshops for educators. This world-renowned research facility is partnering with Centenary College, as well as the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and Rider University, in order to create a successful exhibition. With Professor Stephen Davis on hand, this program is sure to inspire students of all ages.

The schools involved with Shakesperience at Centenary College are North Warren Regional High School, Warren County Technical School, Hackettstown High School and a homeschool based in New Brunswick. Each school will present a scene or adaptation of a Shakespeare piece that lasts 15 to 25 minutes. Students are encouraged to get involved through acting, technical production, costume and makeup, and other important aspects of theatre production. Not only are the students learning about Shakespeare, they are learning about theatre production and working as a cooperative team focused on a common goal.  The presentations will take place at Centenary on April 29, 2014. 
Centenary Stage Company also offers a Young Audience Series, which entails performances suitable for children. Some of its most recent performances include If You Give a Moose a Muffin as well as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, both adapted from the children’s books by Laura Joffe Numerof. Davis has also created an adaptation of numerous Shakespeare plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet in his play Shake it Up Shakespeare: Magic, Mystery, and Mayhem. Shake it Up Shakespeare will be performed on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 11a.m. in the Little Theatre and is open to the general public.  Additional school performances include
Friday, April 25 and Friday, May 9.

Davis also has been working closely with four sixth-grade classes of Blairstown Elementary School recently teaching them about the life of William Shakespeare and stage acting.  At the end of his time there, the students put on their own production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Students who took part in the residency will be in attendance for the performance on Friday, May 9.  He is currently working with Hackettstown High School students to put on a production of Shakespeare’s Sonnets with a focus on the theme of love.  Hackettstown High School students will present their production at both the Centenary College Shakesperience on Tuesday, April 29 and at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in May.

Davis’ productions at Centenary include Antigone, Lobby Hero, Ubu Roi, Italian American Reconciliation, Polaroid Stories, Twelfth Night, and a 90-minute adaption of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. He also has served as the fight choreographer in Breakfast with Mugabe, Oliver! (also playing Mr. Brownlow), Deathtrap, The Liar and The Wizard of Oz (also playing Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz and serving Makeup Designer). This is Davis’ fifth year working with the Folger program.

“Teaching children about Shakespeare is a passion of mine,” says Davis.  “I was introduced to Shakespeare when I was in sixth grade and it changed my life forever. It is also an honor to be able to work with the Folger program for several years now and have Centenary College serve as a host site for Shakesperience this year.”

About Shakesperience NJ and the Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Teaching Artists in Schools is a comprehensive theater education experience in which secondary school students and their teachers work with a professional teaching artist over 12 weeks to prepare a script and craft a production, and perform on stage in front of an audience of peers and family members at New Jersey’s statewide annual student Shakespeare festival, Shakesperience: NJ. 

Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture and the arts.  Folger Shakespeare Library is a leader in how Shakespeare is taught today.  It provides resources to more than 4 million teachers and students in grades K-12 each year and provides local outreach programs for families and the community.  It also publishes the Folger Shakespeare Library editions, the leading Shakespeare texts used in secondary schools in the United States.  Learn more at www.folger.edu.

About Centenary College
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.