Parker Advances to the Chicago Shakespeare Slam Finals!

The student team representing Parker at this year’s Chicago Shakespeare Slam finished among the top three of the 15 schools competing in this regional bout, advancing them to the finals taking place at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Yard stage on Monday, December 10 at 6 p.m.

Sophomores Will Ehrlich, Gabriel Logan and Grayson Schementi and juniors Isabel Olesinski and Isaac Warshaw have been working with English teachers Bonnie Seebold and Corey Zeller since September to prepare for the competition, and the entire group is excited to compete in the finals this year.

The Shakespeare Slam format is simple: each team performs one scene (less than five minutes in length) from any Shakespeare play. Parker’s scene this year is from Titus Andronicus. In addition to their scene, each team must create a “mashup,” a piece, also less than five minutes, using lines from a play assigned to them. This year’s mashup must be from Macbeth. Parker team’s mashup is a marriage counseling session gone awry between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth.

The Chicago Shakespeare Slam was originally created as Battle of the Bard by an organization called Chicago Youth Shakespeare, founded by Parker graduate Manon Guastafeste Spadaro ’83. About 10 teams competed on Parker’s stage for the first competition. One of the judges was Marilyn Halperin, director of education at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), who suggested CST join in, and by 2017, CST continued the program on its own with the name Shakespeare Slam.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.