Erin Blasko | November 9, 2017
The University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center hosted a celebration Thursday commemorating the Robinson Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) summer trip to England where members had the opportunity to study the renowned playwright and his works in his place of birth.
Fourteen RSC youth, ages 12 to 18, traveled to the country with RCLC staff and AmeriCorps members from July 26 to Aug. 4 to study and perform Shakespeare in Stratford-Upon-Avon and London at the invitation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Globe Theatre, respectively.
The youth — representing a diverse range of students from the South Bend area — performed Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline” in the Great Garden of Shakespeare’s New Place; toured London’s Globe Theatre; took a movement workshop on the stage of the Globe; led a discussion with Globe staff about engaging diverse youth with Shakespeare; and saw four professionally produced Shakespeare plays.
The troupe was the first to perform in the Great Garden, which opened in 2016 on the grounds of Shakespeare’s former estate. The poster promoting the performance, adorned with photos of each of the cast members, is now part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s archives — representing the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare-related material accessible to the public.
The celebration featured a performance of a scene from “Cymbeline,” presentations by RSC youth and two videos — an 8-minute documentary about the trip for Notre Dame Magazine and a shorter “What Would You Fight For?” segment that debuted at halftime of the Notre Dame vs. Temple University football game.
In addition, Canon Solutions America presented RSC members, families and supporters with a book of photos from the trip, including some taken by the youth themselves with cameras provided by Canon.
Tears flowed as RSC members and staff offered heartfelt thanks to the many individuals and organizations that made the trip possible — notably Christy Burgess, Shakespeare program director, and Velshonna Luckey, youth development program director, who oversee the company.