In celebration of the life of William Shakespeare, Hiram College will host a Shakespeare on the Green festival May 2 and 3. Consisting of a series of events, performances, and interactive activities, the event is free to the public. The festival will take place on the campus green, between Hinsdale and the Frohring Music and Theatre buildings, and will feature volunteer staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of Hiram coming together to explore Shakespeare’s work in contemporary culture.
Festivities begin with a 2015 movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish play’ about deadly ambition and the murder of a king, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The May 2, 7 p.m. showing in the Alumni Heritage Room in Teachout-Price Hall will be followed by a faculty panel discussion.
Improv games, Renaissance Faire activities, skits, draw-a-sonnet contests, madrigal performances, and other activities will follow on May 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Hiram’s campus green. Shakespeare-inspired songs and short scenes presented by Hiram’s Theatre Arts Department start at 7 p.m. under the main tent, also on the campus green.
The Shakespeare on the Green festival is new to Hiram this year and was inspired by a Shakespeare symposium hosted by the College in 2014.
“We considered doing something similar, but after talking with some students decided to do more of a celebration of the idea of Shakespeare,” says Paul Gaffney, Ph. D., associate professor of English at Hiram. “We intend for it to be interactive. So far we have plans for a group singing madrigals, an art project, renaissance food, renaissance card games, improv games, weapons demonstrations, a jester, a Romeo & Juliet LARP (live action role-playing game), a costume contest, short talks about Shakespeare’s London, and how DNA was used to identify [King] Richard III.”
The event will be sponsored in part by The Class of ’59 John Shaw Lecture Fund. Shaw taught classes about Shakespeare, among his other teachings. Other sponsors of the program include the Hiram College Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature, Theatre Arts Department and Music Department.