Nicole Jacobsen
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Every winter, the Upper School students of the Episcopal School of Dallas showcase their artistic writing, acting, and film editing skills in honor of Shakespeare Week. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the event during which English classes foster discussions about the famous Bard of Avon's themes and character development, as well as writing style, while film students busy themselves with creating modern-day versions of Much Ado About Nothing

"Shakespeare week offers students the opportunity to work collaboratively or independently to showcase their creativity as they confront the question of Shakespeare's relevance in contemporary society," Jennifer Meyers, Chair of ESD's English Department, said. "The clear message we see from the meaningful projects ESD students generate is just how Shakespeare lends to the timeless themes of love, loyalty, revenge, jealousy, betrayal,redemption, and particularly self-reflection as these are the issues our students themselves encounter."

This year’s film contest features more than a dozen works from student actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, and editors. The winning film, announced in chapel on Thursday, March 6 was The Wolf of Messina by Eric Stern '14

Other notable films included:

  • 2nd Place: Much Ado About Something: A Real Life Story by Kelly Eichenholz '14and Elise Waller '14
  • 3rd Place: Hoodwink, A Music Mash-Up by Katherine Hunsaker '14 and Sidney Sikes '14
  • Honorable Mention: Shakespearean Hustle by Cal Etcheverry '17

"Shakespeare Week is so much fun for the students because he hits right on the issues in relationships," Suzette Carona, ESD's Film Studies tracher, said. "Those problems have not changed over the years. The kids love bringing him to life in film, art, music, and drama."

Shakespeare Week started in 1982 when a group of English teachers gathered the ESD community together for a public reading of Macbeth. Since then, the celebration has evolved to include artistic renderings, dramatic and humorous soliloquies, social media websites, and baking demonstrations from the Shakespearian era. Every year, the Upper School students collectively study one play, so the curriculum is always rotating and evolving.

“The culmination of ESD's annual Shakespeare Week features the entire Upper School student body finding ways to creatively respond to Much Ado About Nothing,” Christine Nicolette-Gonzalez, ESD Upper School English teacher, said. “From film, to song, dance and visual performance, and written art, each student is given the opportunity to share his/her unique creative voice.”

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