For two days, a couple of weeks before school begins, over one hundred students from all of the junior high's in Nebo School district gather together for the Nebo Shakespeare Academy. The two day summer event features Shakespearean expert guest speakers; movement, voice and text classes; ice breaker games; open question and answer time on the Shakespearean Festival Acting Competition; Collaboration and district team spirit motivation lectures; food and FUN! This year's Academy was held at Mapelton Jr. High School with guest speakers Jan Shelton Hunsaker and Andy Hunsaker. Jan and Andy were both educated and trained at SUU and the Shakespeare Festival. They've built huge Theatre programs and taken many 1st place awards at the Shakespeare Acting Competition at Lehi High School; Tuachan School for the Performing Arts; Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts and are now both teaching in Nebo School District at Spanish Fork High School. They had the students spell bound with their optimism and top ten acting Shakespeare tips. Students enjoyed the classes taught on the first day, and then got to work bits of their competition pieces on the second day. They learned the value of good collaboration and healthy competition. They all have a district Shakespeare shirt, so when we go to the awards ceremony at the end of competition, we will all be together as one team! We have a follow-up mock Shakespeare competition the Wednesday before we leave for Cedar City and compete where students perform all of their pieces for guest judges. The judges use the same adjudication form they use during the Shakespeare Competition and students receive feedback to fine tune their work, and also to get the overwhelming fear that accompanies competition, out of the way, so they go down confident and prepared to do their best. They learn so much by supporting and observing each other as well as others they'll observe during that weekend. We have the most supportive school board and administration's across the district, who support our desires to give our students this amazing experience. Nebo School District Junior High School Theatre teachers and Shakespeare coaches are: Kara Poulsen (Diamond Fork), Kristina Holley (Spanish Fork), Rock Hatch White (Mt. Nebo), Nichole Clement (Mapelton and Springville), David Antablian (Payson), DeAnna Ashworth (Salem), and Catherine Lyon (Salem).
The SFJHS Shakespeare Competition team is psyched up and getting ready to compete in October!