Shakespeare Festival Makes Literature Come To Life

Nicki Ragan
The middle school dressed up to present their Shakespeare projects.

A long-lasting Carrollwood Day School tradition known as Shakespeare Festival has grown and developed with its students. From individual performances, projects, talks, and class adaptations, to the new and improved classroom specials, CDS has found an exciting way to teach our middle schoolers about the well-known Shakespeare himself.
CDS MS English Department chair Dr. Scott Sandoval gave a great explanation as to why we keep this tradition: “I think the main thing is that it is a big way for our community to come together, and it’s a way for students to have a culmination of everything they have been learning in their English classes.”

Dr. Sandoval says Shakespeare Festival is important so students learn about Shakespeare’s plays – and the Festival makes it interactive and live. Each grade level reads one of Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, starting with Twelfth Night in sixth grade, Hamlet in seventh, and Romeo and Juliet in eighth.

According to a Carrollwood Day School 8th grader, Zoe. F, “Eighth grade got to do an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in small groups, seventh grade got to do a presentation or a class skit, and sixth got to create a project.”

In previous years, Shakespeare Festival was only one day, but now it extends multiple days and really comes to life.
As stated by Zoe, students don’t only have to do skits this year as they have the ability to show their creativity and knowledge through presentations as well. When asked how Shakespeare truly differs from years past, Dr. Sandoval states, “We worked to have Shakespeare in the park to extend outside the classes, and what I mean by that is we sold turkey legs, we had different music, games, and required Shakespearian outfits.”

In years past there has been food, and vintage clothes, but now it’s all new with music and games to really immerse the students into Renaissance times. Overall, Shakespeare Festival changes and revolves around students’ creativity. Each year the festival thrives off of students’ knowledge and it finally gives them an opportunity to teach what they have learned.