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Shakesperience 2019: What Did You Gain From Shakesperience?

Aunika Braun, double major in English Literature and Political Studies at Bishop's University

The most valuable part for me about Shakespearience was the way it brought our group together and stimulated academic growth and comradery within a diverse and dedicated learning collective. Everyone on the trip had their own goals for learning, and differing ways they wanted to benefit from the experience (and we all reached our goals and more during our week in Stratford!). Throughout the trip, it was amazing to see everyone discover their strengths, learn new skills, and find greater scholastic confidence through the various teaching methods we were exposed to. This trip was not only an amazing academic experience, but truly a life-changing week for everyone involved; whether or not you’re interested in Shakespeare - or have any university English experience - you will undoubtedly gain something of value from this course.

This course absolutely changed the way I view many of Shakespeare’s plays; in my experience, many of his comedies are hard to access in the classroom, as the language and contemporary humour often create barriers within the jokes. However, I found seeing them performed gave me a new appreciation for the timelessness of Shakespeare, and how his plays were truly written for the masses! Regardless of the production, every audience contained a variety of people from all backgrounds and levels of experience with Shakespeare, and without fail entire theaters were captivated by the humour, drama, and superb acting exhibited. The differing interpretations particularly emphasising gender-blind casting opened up the plays to broader interpretation and multifaceted learning, leading to even more interesting discussion within our group! I know I will never experience Shakespeare the same way again having taken this class, and the trip is absolutely worth it for anyone open to an innovative and stimulating academic journey.

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