Morgan Park Academy thespians teamed up to participate in a virtual version of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s fifth annual Chicago Shakespeare Slam.
Teams representing high schools from across the Chicago region collaborated to celebrate the power of Shakespeare and their own voices as the program went remote for the second straight year.
Students’ efforts culminated in a collaborative, filmed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, streamed online in two shows on February 2-3, 2022.
“I’m so proud of these students,” said Peggy Bergin, Morgan Park Academy’s Director of the Arts.
“It’s such a special opportunity to work with the education team at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, as well as all the other participating high schools. Seeing our MPA students unleash their creativity is also very rewarding.”
Seven MPA students — Kayla, Henry, Kris, Sydni, Rayne, Lou-Ann, and Christian — portrayed Oberon, Titania, Puck, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena in Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, as each school team was assigned a different, five-minute scene by the production’s coordinators.
Bergin and the students worked on the project during the fall semester, rehearsing language, meaning, themes, casting, and their plan for recording their performances, and editing the scene together.
In addition to their team rehearsals, the MPA quartet also joined in online “Hamlet Hangouts” on Saturday mornings with Chicago Shakespeare Theater educators and students from other schools.