We often hear people say that plays are meant to be seen rather than just read. Interestingly, there is science behind this commonly held belief! ScienceDaily.Com reports that according to a 2014 study published by researchers in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, "Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance, and empathy among students...The researchers found that viewing the productions leads to enhanced knowledge of the plot, increased vocabulary, greater tolerance and improved ability to read the emotions of others."
With that in mind, and to kick off their reading of one of Shakespeare's best-known plays, students in Mrs. DiGalbo's Grade 12 British Literature class attended a live performance of Macbeth at the Folger Theater in Washington, DC, on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The performers were accompanied by the Folger Consort and the result was a stand-out production. The three witches had more stage time than they do in many productions, providing an extra dose of wickedness. Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, snuck into the balcony to address Macbeth from above, and chaperone, Miss Libby, was surprised to find the bird-like creature standing next to her! Those of us in the balcony across the theater from her saw Hecate before Miss Libby did and enjoyed her reaction!
In the classroom, students demonstrated their understanding through a discovery activity meant to identify production choices they observed during the performance. Later in their study of Macbeth, they will compare the Folger performance to a production of the play filmed live in 2015 at the Globe Theater in London.
We are grateful to have a learning environment that allows experiences like the trip to The Folger to be part of our curriculum! Thank you to all who make it possible!