“I thought that Romeo and Juliet was really stupid and that Shakespeare was even stupider.”
It was not surprising to hear that this high school student from Issaquah did not like Shakespeare. Already a teenager, they had never seen a professional theatre production. They never got to sit in a theatre and flip through a program, wait for the lights to dim with excitement for the play to begin. This student thought Shakespeare was not for them.
“I also thought that it was extremely pointless and a waste of time and that I would never be able to understand what they were saying or what they were doing.”
This student was almost lost . . .
After seeing a live performance, working with actors, and performing for themselves, the student was transformed. Instead of calling Romeo and Juliet “stupid,” that same student says the play is “very interesting and full of action, romance, and death. It didn’t take me long to know how they spoke and it became interesting to interpret what they were saying.”
“Thank you for giving our school such an extraordinary experience,” said the student’s English teacher after witnessing the change. “Our students’ view of Shakespeare, of theater, and of their own creative potential would not be the same without your program.”
The truth is there are thousands of students in Washington State who still believe Shakespeare is not for them. After ten consecutive years of $25,000 grants and tens of thousands of success stories like this one, the National Endowment for the Arts chose not to support our program.
Now, more than ever, we need you to teach students and young people across the state that Shakespeare is for everyone by making a donation today.