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The Show Must Go... Online

William Shakespeare theatre student theatre students

SCC Theatre Students Perform Shakespeare Virtually

Students taking the Acting III course at Scottsdale Community College this Spring semester were tasked with creating a theatre company, under the leadership of film director and SCC instructor Don K. Williams. The objective of the course called for students to produce and act in an open-air performance of the William Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on campus.

As all educational institutions have had to shift to remote learning for the remainder of the school year, the new virtual format has presented challenges for students and instructors alike. The pioneering theatrical arts students at SCC’s Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre (SSFT) overcame the challenge in an innovative way.

Observing stay-at-home orders, the class was held through video conferencing. Student producer Chelsea Sturgeon said, “When the pandemic hit, we had to come up with an idea we could do separately. Don presented making it a reality show, loosely based on The Office.” The students approved of the idea. “Since we had been having class on Zoom, we came up with the idea to use that format as a tool to capture the show and improv confessionals,” noted Sturgeon.

Williams said, “I am impressed we found a way to make it work. It could have easily been overwhelming for them but they have handled it extremely well and made it exciting. You couldn’t ask for a better ensemble.”

The natural challenges of functioning during a global crisis created an original experiential learning curve and opportunity at SCC. “We thought we were the pioneers on campus, but the students have taken on the mantle for being pioneers online. Art always finds a way and our students are finding a way to do it,” said Williams.

The play will be presented on Facebook and YouTube. Student marketing manager Nick Loope said, “This whole process has been a lot of fun, and while we were presented with a rare kind of challenge, we were still able to create content for a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.”

The four-part virtual play premieres the week of April 20 (coinciding with William Shakespeare’s birthday of course) on SCC’s Facebook page. Episodes will air at 6:00 p.m., on Friday nights from April 24 to May 15.

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Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre

Widely regarded as one of the best film schools in the Southwest U.S., SCC’s Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre (SSFT) features two-year hands-on programs that are exceptional and unique among the community colleges in Arizona.

The Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre is nationally renowned for productions of “He Who Gets Slapped” and “The Palace.” SSFT students have been recognized at The Kennedy Center American College Theater National Festival, in Los Angeles, for the past five years.

From the stage to the soundstage and all points in between, students are immersed in virtually every aspect of the film and theatre disciplines. Through both a theoretical and hands-on approach, each student leaves with not only a degree in their chosen field, but with a keen understanding of how their education is applicable in the professional world. For more information, visit SCC’s Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre.

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