New World School of the Arts high school theatre students take to the stage with Lauren Gunderson’s life-affirming play, The Book of Will, under the direction of NWSA faculty Silas Hoover to launch the 2023-2024 theater season.
The Book of Will kicks off at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 6 at Louise O. Gerrits Theater, 25 NE 2 Street, 8th Floor, Miami. Following the show, guests are invited to attend an opening reception to be held at the New World Gallery – 25 NE 2 Street, Lobby, honoring Margaret Ledford, Artistic Director City Theatre Miami.
Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever! Written by one of America’s most-produced playwrights, The Book of Will, brings forth characters who work to safeguard Shakespeare’s work and rescue it for posterity three years after his death. To fulfill their task, actors Heminges and Condell must publish compile and publish the First Folio, a compendium of Shakespeare’s work written through the years, existing only as short, scattered fragments. The play infuses the bustling energy of Elizabethan London with an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter, shedding new light on a man you may think you know.
“One glance at the opening pages of Shakespeare’s First Folio will inform you that the book was made possible by the efforts of John Heminges and Henry Condell; and you might guess that Ben Jonson had something to do with it, as well,” explained director Hoover. “But what of the unnamed heroes who made this cornerstone of the Western canon a reality? Who were the wives & daughters, lovers & laborers, sons, and scribes? What unsung sacrifices did they make 400 years ago that ensured we would have Shakespeare today?”
To the students who will be performing onstage to bring The Book of Will, alive, Shakespeare is more than a playwright, an artist, or a historical figure who shaped the craft as we know it. “Shakespeare is the beginning of theatre. It is where everything splits from a lot of people and different presentations. Without Shakespeare’s shows, we would not have any of the work that we have today,” said Gabe Sklar, NWSA high school junior in the role of John Heminges.
Others find inspiration in the Bard’s work, highlighting, “I like to write poetry and do spoken word poetry. The way Shakespeare feels and expresses himself in his work inspires me because I like how fleshed out and real he is.” – Andre Sanchez-Cardona NWSA high school junior, as Henry Condell.
Theater and music theater students at NWSA hone their craft through acting technique, movement, and speech classes, focusing on fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation. With performance at its core, training is based on the classical texts and the principles of drama as well as practical incursions into the contemporary and experimental edges of theater. Consequently, alumni are found performing onstage nationally and internationally and their talent and vision are recognized and highly regarded in the industry.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and the University of Florida.
For information about New World School of the Arts please call 305-237-3541.
THE BOOK OF WILL
October 6; 7:30 PM. Opening Reception follows the performance at the New World Gallery
October 7, 13, 14; 7:30 PM
October 8, 15; 2 PM
Louise O. Gerrits Theater
25 NE 2 Street, 8th Floor, Miami
General admission $12 / Students and seniors $5