Shakespearean Class At PSU Spreads Love With Outdoor Performance

Article by Anthony Rispoli

A group of theatre students treated students and State College residents alike with “Love in the Air” on Sunday, April 23 in The Arboretum at Penn State.

Love in the Air is a tribute to William Shakespeare and his finest works. The event was organized by Associate Professor of Theatre, Steve Snyder. Sophomores and MFA students, performed a conglomerate of dramatic and comedic love scenes from Shakespeare’s best. Some plays that were included were A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet. There were also love songs that were delicately placed in between some scenes that added to the theme of love.

It is the second year in a row Snyder and his students performed outdoors for the State College community. The idea for a show with this style and concept was born last year, which saw the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Snyder and his students paid tribute to him with “Deathopalooza,” which were a compilation of death scenes, mainly comedic ones, from Shakespeare’s most famous works.

There was a sizeable and diverse crowd for the event, with a mix of students and residents. Almost 80 people were in attendance and some of them were involved in the theatre program at Penn State. The production was performed in a small patch of trees that overlooked the Law Building in The Arboretum.

The reception from the audience was overwhelming positive and hopeful.

Kate Reeder, who is the Event and Marketing Coordinator of The Arboretum at Penn State, was overjoyed with the performance and the efforts of the students, despite the strong and old fashioned language.

“The students were so good with their body language, their gestures, their intonation, the pauses in the dialogue that you could tell what was going on even if you didn’t understand every word,” Reeder said.

Zudhi Boeuri, a Masters in Fine Arts student at Penn State and performer at the event, expressed his desire for the audience to pursue further interests relating to the event.

“I hope that [the audience will] continue to explore what Shakespeare is and to try to see as much outside theatre as possible because it’s just a lot of fun,” Boeuri said.

Snyder closed the afternoon out by commenting on the take aways from the event.

“One of my colleagues, Tess Dignan, who teaches voice and text for us, has a habit of saying ‘Shakespeare, plus humans, equals magic,’” Snyder said. “I absolutely feel that; today was living proof.”

Feature Image: Penn State University Arboretum Image Credit: Cuizoo

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