Shakespeare Comes to Life at St. Rita

By: John Nee '93

On Friday, April 21 The Crew of Patches Theatre Company was welcomed to St. Rita to perform two of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Macbeth.”

St. Rita English Department Chair Tim Baffoe designed the day with the idea that “Shakespeare did not write his plays with a teenager stuck in a school desk reading the text in mind---he wrote for that teenager to see the complex human issues that endure today come alive on stage.”

Freshman and sophomores were treated to an early morning rendition of “Romeo and Juliet.”  All freshmen are required to read “Romeo and Juliet” as part of the freshman curriculum, so it was an opportunity for students to broaden their horizons on the play of which all of them were familiar.

Juniors and seniors were then treated to a matinee showing of “Macbeth,” which is a part of the senior curriculum at St. Rita. So while seniors were able to compare their experiences of the play from the classroom, the juniors, who study American Lit, were given a preview of something they’ll be studying next school year.

Overall, students and adults alike were surprised by their reactions to the performances.  They found the “foreign language” of Shakespeare very relatable on stage, and they even found laughter in many spots of the two tragedies. Overwhelmingly, the students saw this as a valuable experience and something that Mr. Baffoe hopes to make a tradition going forward at St. Rita.