Shakespeare in the Schools Visits Powell High School

Ethan Cartier

More stories from Ethan Cartier


Ethan Cartier

Macbeth is performed at Powell High School.

For those who have somehow been living under a rock, William Shakespeare was an English playwright who is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets in history. His works have included such standouts as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth, which was performed here at Powell High School this year by the Shakespeare in the School’s program.

“One of our state standards addresses plays and it is a fantastic opportunity for our students to see a professional play with paid actors,” English teacher Mrs. Tracy McArthur said. “The Park County Arts Council pays for this production to come to our school.”

The State Standard requires students to ”Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.”

For over twenty years, the Montana State University of Arts and Architecture (MSU) has visited towns in Wyoming to act out Shakespeare’s historic works to help present them to a new generation. This year the MSU actors played Macbeth, a story of a man who is corrupted by his wife to kill the king and become the ruler of the land. In the end, Macbeth has his friends, townspeople, and even children killed out of paranoia, before being beheaded himself.

“I think they [MSU] did a really good job,” senior Hannah Sears said. “Macbeth is personally my favorite Shakespeare play, so I really liked their interpretation of the script.”

While some students like  Hannah Sears like to watch the plays put on by the Shakespeare in the Schools program, not everyone is on board.

I think they [MSU] did a really good job. Macbeth is personally my favorite Shakespeare play, so I really liked their interpretation of the script.

— Hannah Sears

“[Shakespeare in the Schools] is not something that everyone would be into, like me,” sophomore Shawn Evelo said. “Personally, I would not want to be there.”

Though many students may not like Shakespeare’s plays or the time it takes away from accomplishing homework, it is safe to say that Montana State University’s actors will continue to bring the works of William Shakespeare to life here at Powell High School.