It's Shakespeare Day at Crossroads Academy, my favorite day of the year. The first year I taught at Crossroads, I expected what you see at most schools when little kids perform Shakespeare; butchery of the Bard. That first Shakespeare Day at Crossroads, I dutifully sat in the audience at the fifth grade's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and braced myself, expecting the worst.
Instead, the curtains opened on magic.
I particularly enjoy this scene, because it was the one I performed in K.C. Potts' English class when I was in high school.
The stage in this production is actually in the town hall of Plainfield, NH, and that set? That dreamy, incredible set? That was painted by Maxfield Parrish in 1916. I can't think of a more beautiful backdrop for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The fifth grade performs nearly the entire play, and every year, I am amazed. I never get over it. There's lots of other presentations - a very abridged Macbeth by the third grade, a presentation on Shakespeare's language by the second grade, a class on sword fighting, and a full-on Elizabethan lunch provided by the parents. But it's those woodland fairies that steal my heart each year.
The sun is coming up, and it's time to get moving. As Puck would say, "Fairy king, attend, and mark: / I do hear the morning lark."
Time to go wake up my own woodland sprites and get them off to school. I will be suffused in magic today, but first, it's time for cereal and toast.