I came to ASC for the first-ever session of the No Kidding Shakespeare Camp for adults. It was an affirmation of everything that I had ever sensed about teaching Shakespeare and “doing” Shakespeare.
That first year was magical – the hospitality exhibited by Ralph Cohen and the staff was classic Southern hospitality – good food, good wine at Veritas Vineyards, good fellowship, good listening to everything we had to contribute, and filling in all the gaps in our collective experience. We saw rehearsals, had performance workshops (combat, dance, educational examples), and even got to work on our own scenes.
Not everyone was happy with this last experience, maybe afraid that what they could teach they could not do to the same perfection of their own students, but I found it liberating, challenging, freeing. That first experience has so deeply informed everything I do with my own students, and I have brought several of them to Staunton to see for themselves that, no, I’m not crazy, that renowned actors actually do the very things that I encourage from them. I think they “get it” now.
I hope I can continue to bring future student generations to the Blackfriars to see how and what and why you do Shakespeare the way you do, and what such study and practice has to offer them. Thank you, ASC, for making everything in my teaching and scholarship come together!
– Sue Ellen Turscak, No Kidding Shakespeare Camper 2011