Shakespeare on Stage

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The district recently hosted its first Long Island Student Shakespeare Festival. Students from schools throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties assembled in Deer Park to perform scenes from Shakespearean plays, explore the world of Elizabethan England, and participate in creative activities.

The event was inspired by festivals promoted by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Deer Park Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Jeff S. Dailey developed this unique educational program which featured musical performances and interschool activities. Student groups prepared for the event by rehearsing scenes from Shakespeare’s works before taking the stage to perform for other students.

Festival adjudicator André De Shields provided feedback for the young thespians. Mr. De Shields originated the title role of The Wiz on Broadway and has also appeared in the Broadway productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, Stardust and Impressionism, among others. He recently returned from the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where he performed in Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real.