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The freshman class stunned a packed crowd of parents, friends and teachers at Congregation KINS in their performances of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Students in Mrs. Mann’s English classes divided up scenes from the Shakespeare plays, interpreting how to act them out and delivering lengthy monologues from memory. The result was a charming rendition of the plays, showcasing how much our students learned this past semester.

Students who had never performed in a drama production learned speaking and acting skills that will serve them throughout life, and students with acting experience had the opportunity to shine in front of their entire grade.

This was the final of four performances in an initiative with Writers Theatre. Ms. Goldstein, who spearheaded the program says, “Writer’s Theater showed us the joy in performing texts, giving us close reading skills along with theatrical techniques that enabled us to lift the text off the page.”

The program was funded by a George Shay z”l Endowment Fund, an endowment gift to an ICJA academic department from alum Scott Shay (’75). The English department won this year’s grant in order to make drama and the arts more formally part of the Academy classroom experience. Academy’s teachers annually submit a grant proposal to a committee of lay and professional leaders who select a department to receive the funding. The purpose of the endowment is to enhance the learning environment and appreciation of academic arts and sciences. The endowment is intended to foster a passion for general studies, consistent with Torah values.

Although the collaboration with Writers Theatre will not continue next year, Ms. Goldstein says, “I know that I will use many of these techniques next year, who knows- maybe we can create a Senior Show?”
Many thanks to Writers Theatre and Stephanie Chavara for her talent, warmth, energy and passion.

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