Last month, the St. Mary’s College English Department travelled to Stratford with 37 Advanced Placement English students to enjoy the ambience and traditions associated with the Stratford Festival. They took in a matinee performance of To Kill a Mockingbird based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee, directed by Nigel Shawn Williams. The play presents a passionate belief in the necessity for moral courage and truth in a world of hatred and lies. The performance was spectacular and inspiring.
The group was also able to participate in the Prologue, which is an interactive student activity that allows students the opportunity to engage with the actors from the production. It was wonderful to see the students help create extensions to a story they have all studied in the classroom. Particularly poignant, given the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird, was the challenge presented to the students about how they could personally contribute to making positive changes in the world. Their responses were powerful and possible.
Students described the Stratford Festival as “an eye-opening experience.
“Not only was it entertaining, but the way that the actors took part in an activity such as the Prologue for high school students, made our experience that much more amazing,” said Carter Harrison.
“The trip to Stratford with our A.P. students was extremely rewarding. Our students were able to see the characters they have studied and the themes they have analyzed come to life. They were able to be a part of the story, and that experience is something they will be able to carry with them long after the curtain has fallen,” said English teacher Shannon Sarlo.
The St. Mary’s College English Department is grateful to have had the opportunity to share our love of literature and theatre with such a fantastic group of students, who really embody our motto of ‘Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge’.