Kent State Students Experience Elizabethan-Era Shakespeare Performances

Honors Shakespeare in Performance Class

Honors College students took a trip back in time to the Renaissance era to experience the works of William Shakespeare in a similar manner a playgoer during the Elizabethan era would have enjoyed.

Students enrolled in an Honors course called “Shakespeare in Performance” traveled to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia from Oct. 17 to Oct. 19 where they received the opportunity to expand their learning about Shakespeare plays and performances outside of the classroom.

Students saw four period-style performances of Shakespeare’s plays including Edward II, Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, and Pericles in the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse—the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. 

The American Shakespeare Center follows basic principles of theatrical performances during the Renaissance period to promote a greater understanding of Shakespeare’s works. Students were able to get a glimpse of what it would have been like to see one of Shakespeare’s plays during the same time period they were written.

Senior Alex Orvosh, a theatre studies major, said he learned many amazing things that will help him become a better actor.

“This trip was one of the most rewarding things I've done in school,” Alex said.

Ashley Ferrari, another senior with a major in theatre studies, said the trip was a transformative experience.

An exclusive opportunity to talk with the performers and crew about their work with the American Shakespeare Center provided students with an immeasurable learning experience.

“This trip helped me realize Shakespeare plays are not boring and still are relative in today's day and age. The part I enjoyed most about the trip was talking to some of the actors in the company. They had such passion for Shakespeare, and that was very inspiring to me,” Ferrari said.

Ashley plans to return to the town of Staunton, Virginia in the near future.

The course is being team-taught as three-credit hour seminar by Dr. Don-John Dugas, professor in the Department of English, and Rosemarie Bank, a retired professor from the School of Theatre and Dance.

Students in the course will continue their learning experiences outside of the classroom in early November when they will see performances of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing as part of the Methods in Madness tour sponsored by the American Shakespeare Center.

For more information about the American Shakespeare Center, visit

POSTED: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 03:32 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 08:32 AM
Aaron Hanlin