It’s certainly different working with OSHER participants than kids, but in some ways it’s rather similar. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of them had an almost childish sort of joy and excitement towards participating in the Jepson Shakespeare Project. There was a variety in the reasons why each person chose to participate. Some loved Shakespeare, some just thought it would be interesting and something new to try and one woman actually expressed interest in the leadership portion. I think that brought to light one of the advantages of working with OSHER rather than children. We have the ability to have analytical discussions with them and learn from their thoughts and views. We have the chance to sit down and talk about the play more fully and relate it to our leadership studies.

Nonetheless, we still had a lot of fun. After introductions, we ended up watching the little cartoon version of Macbeth (and filling in some holes lol) and we enjoyed a good laugh together. As a theatre major, having fun in the theater is very important to me and I think that the OSHER participants have a sense of humor that’s closer to ours than children. I think it’ll make for a great semester full of laughs and fun.

For next week, we’ve asked the participants to look over the script again and come to rehearsal with an idea of one or two characters they might like to play. We decided to make the casting a group effort so that everyone feels as though they have an input and are valued. I’m looking forward to next week!

Today was our first practice with the OSHER participants. I feel as though I already knew some of them because as the point person for the group I had already been in communication with many of them. It was so exciting to get to meet the participants and talk with them about the project. For our first meeting, we did introductions, explained the project, talked about how the semester would look, and did a cold read of the play.

I was very impressed with how well everyone did when reading our section. We have two people who have done lots of preforming in our group which is a lot of fun! No one stumbled or had much trouble with the lines. During our first meeting, they had lots of questions. They wanted to know everything about the play and the project. They asked questions such as will we talk about our section in depth? When is the final performance? Can we invite guests?

I was happy that no one seemed too upset that we had to cut down the play. They were very understanding. As a group, they have decided to self cast. We left them with the homework of going over the play and thinking about what character they would like to play.

Overall, I am very excited to be working with the OSHER participants. It will be a semester filled with learning, laughs, and fun.