Students from Whittier Elementary play in Love's Labour's Lost during the Will Power Festival on the University of Colorado Boulder Campus on May 14, 2018. Paul Aiken Staff Photographer The Daily Camera

Author: Amy Bounds

DAILY CAMERA: Boulder Valley elementary students perform Shakespeare’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ at CU

About 150 students perform scenes in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s annual Will Power Festival

Lafayette Elementary fifth-grader Henry Fischer joined an after-school Shakespeare theater club because he wanted to know more about the bard. Along with learning about Shakespeare himself, he rehearsed a part in one of the famous writer’s comedies, “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

“It’s amazing that it can be hundreds of years later after Shakespeare wrote a play and a bunch of fifth-graders are performing it,” Henry said.

On Monday, he joined 150 students from six local elementary schools in performing scenes from Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at the University of Colorado for the annual Will Power Festival.

“I can’t wait to be on stage,” Henry said. “I like acting in front of other schools so I can pick up little tips.”

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has organized the event for more than 20 years, with students performing the same play opening the festival on June 8.

“We can reach students who might not otherwise be exposed to Shakespeare,” said Amanda Giguere, Colorado Shakespeare Festival spokeswoman.

Monday’s Will Power event started with the costumed students parading across campus. Then, each school’s students performed one part of the play on the University Theatre stage. Participating schools were Crest View Elementary, Douglass Elementary, Friends’ School, Lafayette Elementary, Running River School and Whittier Elementary.

Some schools stuck with more traditional takes on the material, while others took a more modern approach.

Twelve Whittier Elementary fourth-graders learning English as a second language changed up the setting to a hike to Cal-Wood for outdoor education and added a smattering of Spanish.

Whittier fourth-grader Brianna Canales described their version as “really funny.”

“I’m nervous and excited,” she said before her group’s turn on stage. “It’s really cool to be here.”

Their teacher, Caitlin Kline, is a Will Power veteran herself and said she wants the experience to teach her students self-confidence.

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Click here to learn more about the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Education programs. Or, to learn more about the CSF production of Love’s Labour’s Lost beginning on June 8, click here for more information and to purchase tickets.