JCA celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday

Carson Smith (left) confers with Sheila Fry, teacher and chair of the English Department, during JCA's Shakespeare festival. (Photo by Bill Scheibe)

Festival of food, skits highlights Shakespeare’s 448th birthday

JOLIET – Good food. Amazing entertainment.

That is how Sheila Fry, teacher and chair of the English Department, promoted Joliet Catholic Academy’s annual William Shakespeare festival, which was held April 19 in honor of Shakespeare’s 448th birthday.

JCA’s seniors, the Class of 2012, hosted the day-long event that featured reenactment of scenes, soliloquies and music from a myriad of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, 154 sonnets and several poems.

Adept at writing tragedies and comedies, Shakespeare is regarded as one of the world’s most influential playwrights and dramatists. The seniors from Fry’s and Scott Allgood’s classes were in charge of bringing that legacy to life for the students, faculty and staff of JCA – a task that Fry loves to watch unfold.

“I spend the whole year teaching, but the thing that gets across to the students is the celebration,” she said. “There’s nothing like the association kids make between good food and what they are seeing. They put a cupcake in their mouth and the sweetness of Shakespeare’s words has a much greater impact.”

The festivities included food, drink and comical and dramatic performances. Fry praised her fellow English teachers Allgood, Celeste Mackey, Betsy Quas, Cheryl Rybarczyk and Christine Scheibe and the leadership of the senior students for pulling off a program that pleases participant and viewer alike.

“The seniors take great ownership of this and it’s their time to shine,” Fry said. “It’s a chance for them to show what they have learned here over their four years and it has become a very special day for us.

“I’m also in charge of the greatest department in the school, and our teachers are so supportive, so intensely interested in the success of their students. They want our kids, our seniors, to shine like this.”

— Bill Scheibe, Director of Communications

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