Freshmen learn the rudiments of Elizabethan performance


ETC professional Daniel Cackley teaches freshman Conrad Gehrki stage combat.

ETC professional Daniel Cackley teaches freshman Conrad Gehrki stage combat.

From slapstick comedy to stage combat, makeup to movement, the entire freshman class participated in the 12th annual Shakespeare Performance Festival on Thursday and Friday.

Hosted by the Educational Theatre Company (ETC), with additional workshops run by Jefferson’s Shakespeare Troupe, freshmen were able to select three different workshops to attend. All aspects of Shakespeare were presented, including various workshops in which Shakespeare’s language techniques were investigated.

One of the most popular workshops was stage combat. Students were permitted to kick, choke, punch, slap, and even flip their peers while learning about safety and how this violence appears in Shakespeare’s plays. Daniel Cackley, a member of ETC who ran one of the two stage combat sessions, has been acting ever since he was 10 years old, and has been with ETC since he was 14.

Cackley’s fascination with all things Shakespeare budded in college. “I love the fact that Shakespeare was so aware of combat, that he knew his audiences.” Cackley said. “It didn’t matter who you were, everybody loved fights. And that exists today as well.”

While talking about the fact that many people either don’t like the language or can’t understand the language Shakespeare wrote in, he said that “physicalizing” the words helps.

“When you start actually using your body to fight somebody, it becomes a lot more relatable,” Cackley said.