Getting Ralph’d

 

One of my personal favorite things about Camp is introducing a room full of whipsmart young adults to my boss’s boss, the co-founder and Director of Mission of the American Shakespeare Center and the founder of the Mary Baldwin University Shakespeare & Performance graduate program, Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen — – or, as Sarah Enloe likes to call him, “the southern Baptist preacher of Shakespeare.”

When students ask me about my experience in graduate school, I always start by telling them that in the first year of the S&P program, you get Ralph’d. And you get Ralph’d hard. Getting Ralph’d is an over-the-top affirmation of loving “that thing you love” — in our case, Shakespeare. Imagine: the man who built the Blackfriars Playhouse sitting (standing and jumping in excitement is probably more like it, if we’re being accurate) with you as you discover together just how much feeling Shakespeare could cram into 5 little words.

I wish I could give the campers three years of Ralphing, but alas, three hours will have to do. Here’s just a taste of that Ralph sampling:

Come see the fruits of this labor when the campers perform on Sunday, July 9.

Text Prep Day: introductory rhetoric class

Check out the campers in Vicky Vail’s introductory ROADS to rhetoric workshop:

 

I swear I didn’t even stage this moment, where Vicky asked the class about applying this new knowledge to understanding Shakespeare:

Be still my heart.