Mundelein High School

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Shakespeare Slam Team advances ... again

Members of the Slam Team rehearsing: Bottom Row – Katie Staroszczyk, Ellie Mellen, Rachel Larson, Sydney Litka Top Row– Colin Nacion, Natalie Williams, Halli Carpender, Matthew Callas

For the third year running, the Mundelein Theatre Shakespeare Slam Team has advanced to the final round of competition. Last year the Mundelein team won the competition.

Roughly 50 teams from across the Chicagoland area are participating in this program, sponsored by Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Nine schools advanced to the final bout, which will be held on December 10 at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier.

The team developed two pieces for this performance. The first, known as the Scene Round, can come from any play in Shakespeare’s canon.  The Mundelein team decided to use a scene from Twelfth Night. The second, the Dream Round, is a creative exploration inspired by Macbeth. Both pieces are five minutes long.  The team is made up of eight performers (Rachel Larson, Sydney Litka, Natalie Williams, Halli Carpender, Ellie Mellen, Colin Nacion, Katie Staroszczyk and Matthew Callas. In addition, several students helped develop and coach this year’s team. Known as the Bard’s Circle, these students (Steven Weiss, Isabella Marotti, Mary McMurray, Brenda Olayo, Megan Saunders and Mira Guiritan) attended every rehearsal and served as additional resources for the team. 

The team is coached by Mark Landuyt and Jonathan Meier.

“This program has become one of the highlights of our theatre season,” said Landuyt.  “It is a completely student-centric program, with the kids taking the lead on both the development of the material, as well as the staging of the pieces.” The Slam competition is described as first and foremost, an ensemble building program – building community, first among the members of a school’s team, and second among the many schools participating across the Chicago region.

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