Arts & Culture Kids & Families

“A Slice of Shakespeare” Performed at St. John School Stage

Boston Community Collaborative (BCC) is extremely proud of its drama and dance students for their amazing performance of “A Slice of Shakespeare”, an original play written, choreographed and directed by Miss Ingrid Oslund.

The play was performed at the St John School stage on Thursday evening, March 17.

Within this original piece, our youngest performers, ages 3-6, adorably acted out adaptations of Macbeth, 12th Night, Hamlet, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

Our more seasoned performers, ages 7-11, were absolutely stunning. In just 10 short weeks, this cast prepared, rehearsed, painted sets, memorized lines, learned very complicated dances, worked hard, gained confidence, and had an amazing time!

The actors and their supporters enjoyed a festive St Patrick’s Day inspired reception following the play in the adjacent SJS cafeteria with Corned beef sandwiches from Pauli’s, pot luck drinks and desserts, and Shamrock shakes, made by generous and kind parent Stacey Alstrom.

Note from Miss Ingrid the Director:

“I am so proud of these young performers. They have taken these stories, told time and time again and made them their own. Shakespeare comes with a sense of intimidation. One of my values as an educator and artist is empowerment. I want to empower my students to fully embrace all languages of the stage. I challenged these students to take on language that scares many of the experienced adult actors I have worked with, this fear in many cases was paralyzing. The bravery of these young people was inspiring. From the contemporary text, to rhythmic poetry and even the poetic verse of the Bard himself, every student from 3-13 has conquered these words in some way.”

Note from Miss Ingrid the Writer:

“My love of Shakespeare began with a book I received as a gift after I performed in my first professional production at the age of 7. It was called The Stories of William Shakespeare for Children I devoured it, learning the plot of the stories before I had ever seen a bit of verse. By the time I got to that, I was already hooked. Adapting these stories was a fun experience. I was able to let my imagination run wild to fit the stories I knew so well into a new context, while also tailoring each role to these fabulous young actors. While the younger class crafted their own character through the world of the play, they were also able to become familiar with this canonized literature. As for the older class, I tried to select stories with memorable characters that would challenge them…”

Note from Miss Ingrid the Choreographer:

“What Shakespeare does best is create theatrical works. I believe that the gateway to creating a world for the audience is movement. I attempted to accentuate this production with both my song choice and choreography. The Call of the Bard aka William Tell’s Overture by Gioachino Rossini serves as an intersection of ballet and traditional court dances to create the idea of a classical time period. Shut up and Dance is a celebration of movement, encouraging self-expression within the fast paced moves. Royals was inspired by hip-hop and popular cheerleading styles, to create an ominous atmosphere with energetic choreography. Sail is used as lyrical story-telling, to create the storm through movement. Crazy is a jazz number meant to challenge these dancers with its speed and precision. I Got the Magic also draws on traditional Musical Theater styles and hip-hop influence to create a sense of joy and to introduce the audience to the fairies. Lastly, Wake Me Up is a country inspired number, inviting the audience to join in for the final party!”

Congratulations to the actors, and their parents and families. This young group of performers did an amazing job and all should feel extremely proud!

Special recognition to: The family and friends of all of our amazing students, St. John’s School and the faculty and after school workers who make our program possible.

Ingrid is a playwright, director, and choreographer by trade. Her original work has been featured all around the Boston area, including Newburyport Actor’s Studio, On With Living and Learning, Emerson College, and Suffolk University. Over many years, Ingrid has taught hundreds of North End youth in dance, drama, and film. Her enthusiasm, professionalism, prolific work, and her wonderful ability to work with people of all ages and backgrounds is impressive. The North End is lucky that she shares her amazing talents with our kids and families in the North End.

Boston Community Collaborative was incorporated in 2013. Its mission is to connect people, and enrich lives. In addition to producing this play, BCC offers courses in Drama, Dance, Fitness and Engineering for Kids during the St John School afterschool program. BCC holds a Movers and Shakers class for babies and toddlers at the West End Community Center. BCC hosts a number of community events: Movie Nights in the Gassy during the summer, an annual Halloween Party for adults, and an annual Springtime Egg Hunt in Christopher Columbus Park (2016 date: March 25, 10:30 am, rain date, March 26). BCC has some exciting new ventures and expansion planned.


Photos are from rehearsals, and the performance, courtesy of Rebecca Griffin. Email her at more information.