For the 50th season of Shakespeare in the Park, students involved in Southwestern Adventist University’s Department of English recently traveled to Dallas to watch a late-night performance of a whimsical spin on “Hamlet.” Chairman of the Department of English, Dr. Renard Doneskey, took students for the second annual trip to this unique viewing of the classical play.
“Using Shakespeare’s works as a cornerstone, our mission is to bring fun and accessible indoor and outdoor theater, integrated school programs, and cultural enrichment for people of all ages and backgrounds,” explained the Shakespeare in the Park director.
Shakespeare Dallas seeks to provide compelling performances while connecting to the modern world and confronting social issues.
“Seeing plays and adaptations is great for Department of English students because it exposes them to non-source material, which is great for discussion,” Senior Derrick Byrd said.
In Shakespearian times, female actors were traditionally played by male actors. However, this performance consisted of an all-female cast.
“The all-female cast was my favorite part, because it showed women are equally able to command the stage,” Sophomore Journey O’Neal said. “I feel like they were able to connect Shakespeare to modern-day feminism by doing this.”
Many of the English students appreciated the casting.
“The all-female cast worked around traditional challenges and used the setting in order to still maintain variety in their characters,” Byrd said.
Faculty and students in the Department of English hope to continue the tradition of attending Shakespeare in the Park for years to come.
Reese Galant is a sophomore English major, secretary of the honors program, and a tutor at the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA) at Southwestern Adventist University.