An elementary-school teacher in Romulus, Tom Gibb-Randall assigns roles three weeks prior to camp. That allows the young actors to memorize their parts and work on putting expressiveness into their lines, using a script he abridges from Shakespeare's. At camp they bring the pieces together, complete with musical interludes. Parents with backgrounds in music assist. Then they put on a show. This year, first- to third-grade campers will do Romeo and Juliet on June 28; fourth- and fifth-graders will follow with As You Like It on July 12, both at 5 p.m. at Island Park.
With just seventeen kids each week, matching actors with roles could be tricky--but "luckily Shakespeare opened the door (with both hands) for gender switching," Gibb-Randall says. When they did Macbeth, "Malcomeisha was our answer to Macbeth's tyranny, rather than a male Malcolm. For As You Like It, the Duke is transformed into a Duchess. As this Duke is living like Robin Hood in the Forest of Arden, there was no other choice than have him become Duchess Marion."
[Originally published in July, 2013.]