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Bard in a Box presents Shakespeare to Streator students

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times invites educators to submit articles highlighting programs and activities happening in schools. For more information, email

Summer came early to fourth-graders at Centennial School in Streator when college students traveled to the school to present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival sponsors Bard in a Box, a touring student production in an effort to bring William Shakespeare’s stories and language to school children. The group traveled to Centennial School and Streator High School in February. Centennial teacher Mary Darrow coordinated with Mark Astle, a teacher at Streator High School, to schedule and share the costs for students.

The actors consist of Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance majors who were involved in a competitive audition process. The group of seven travels to different schools around Illinois to deliver a 40-minute story with only a few simple props and costume pieces that come in a large box.

“We’re already planning to have Bard in a Box next year; the kids really enjoyed it!” Darrow said.

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