Shaking it up

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By Ivy Hillman ’12
February 29, 2012

The weekend was full of Shakespeare for Bradley theater students and 150 students from Loyola and Western Illinois universities.

Bradley students performed “The Tempest” on Friday night, Loyola performed “Measure for Measure” on Saturday night, and Western performed “Henry VI” on Sunday. The three productions, which together were coined 3U SHAK3SF3ST, may be the first theater exchange of its kind in the country.

Prior to this weekend, Bradley and Western traveled to Loyola for the same performances, and this weekend, Bradley and Loyola will travel to Western.

Over the weekend, students also were invited to participate in many workshops, several with Dennis Krausnick, director of training for Shakespeare & Company.

Senior theater performance major Brian Zinda, who plays Caliban in “The Tempest,” appreciated the networking opportunity.

“These are the artists that we will be working with after we graduate,” he said. “Getting to know one another and making friendships will only help everyone involved.”

Laura Schirmer, junior interactive media and theater arts major who played Miranda in “The Tempest,” echoed Zinda.

“It was great to spend more time with the people we met last weekend at Loyola, during both planned social events and workshops, and to be able to see their work on stage again,” she said. “I would imagine that Bradley would be very interested in holding such an event again.”

George Brown, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, said that’s already in the works.

“We are considering doing it once every four years,” he said. “We already perform a Shakespeare play once every two years. We also want to consider traveling further next time.”

Brown got the theater exchange idea from Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts Dean Jeff Huberman. Bradley has a sculpture exchange with Western Michigan University, Brown explained, and Huberman thought a similar collaboration with other university theater programs would benefit students.

 “We’ve done a lot of work, and it has most definitely been a success. At Loyola, everyone seemed a little bit nervous,” he said. “It was more relaxed here, and I have a feeling that it might be more social at Western this weekend.”

Additional performances of “The Tempest” are at 8 p.m. March 6-8 at the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts. In conjunction with 3U SHAK3SF3ST, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” will complete its run this weekend. Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.