La Serna High School celebrated Britain’s first Queen Elizabeth and her 45 years as monarch during its annual three-day Jim Longman Shakespeare/Renaissance Festival held in June.
Conjuring up the Elizabethan period, students performed Shakespeare’s masterpiece “Macbeth” under the stars. The Festival culminated with a free, family-friendly Shakespearean Renaissance Fair leading up to the closing night performance.
This year’s fair featured members of the Guild of St.George, a non-profit organization whose Elizabethan actors portrayed historical figures from 1579 and performed for and interacted with those in attendance. La Serna’s Advanced Placement English students provided food, crafts, attractions, games, and demonstrations all with a Shakespearean Renaissance theme.
La Serna has produced the Jim Longman Shakespeare Festival in honor of the former La Serna Assistant Principal of Business and Activities who supported the fine arts at the high school for many years. The play was produced by David Carter, Chair of La Serna’s Visual and Performing Arts Department and teacher of Theater Arts, Choir, and Chorus. Each year, Greg Laurich, head of production, creates an entire outdoor Shakespearean stage with sets constructed for the play to be performed. Eric Twisselmann, who teaches English and Philosophy, organizes the Shakespearean Renaissance Fair.
La Serna seniors in Advanced Placement English organize the fair each year and do extensive research to ensure that they are creating an accurate depiction of the Renaissance from a literary, historical, and artistic perspective, Twisselmann said.
"The Longman Shakespeare Festival allows us to escape our reality, entering a different age,” said student Sean Kenny. “It is an age that is filled with bartering, magic and mystery; a time that continues to exist in various parts of our lives today."
"The festival represents so much to community as a whole,” said student Jesse Favela. “It embodies the efforts of families, students and faculty and creates a truly inspiring experience for everyone. From the play to the booths the atmosphere is authentic and is truly an art in its own right. As a student who's attended the festival yearly, I can claim that there is no better way to end the school year that's both fun and educational. This is what happens when passionate students and teachers meet."