The course of true love runs smoothly for SU Drama and the legendary Globe Theatre
The course of true love runs smoothly for SU Drama and the legendary Globe TheatreOctober 16, 2003Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
Since 2002, Syracuse University has been linked to a performance hall that holds a special place in the hearts of stage actors and enthusiasts worldwide – the Globe Theatre, made famous by Shakespeare. This semester, 26 juniors from the Drama Department are spending 10 weeks at the theater, working with leading teachers of voice, movement and acting. A series of master classes gives students insights into the “then and now” of theater; the experience culminates in a series of student scenes directed on the Globe’s stage.
“Through this collaboration, students learn true Elizabethan theater,” says Craig MacDonald, drama professor. “They are coached from acting professionals who are working right now on the stages of London.”
Built in 1599, the Globe is most noted as the place where William Shakespeare honed his craft and earned his fame as a playwright. It was destroyed during the reign of Cromwell in the mid-1600s. More than 300 years later, in 1973, American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust and spearheaded the project to rebuild the Globe Theatre near its original location. The current Globe stands just 200 feet from where the original stood, and has been designed and built as an exact replica of its predecessor.
SU students use the environment as inspiration. “Shakespeare is the root of Western theater,” says Caleb Probst, a drama major. “Studying in the Globe Theatre, which helped set the tone for what audiences respond to in drama, is a great opportunity. We get to perform scenes and soliloquies in a space made for this type of drama.”
Students also study among Shakespearian scholars. According to MacDonald, research and education are among the main missions of the theater, in addition to performances.
“Our students are studying at the Globe Theatre at a crucial time in their development,” says MacDonald. “They’re learning how to spread their wings there, and then they will bring all that knowledge and experience home.”