Somerset Island Prep Is Partnering with Keys Shakespeare Festival Students “Shake” It Up with Sonnets

September 22, 2022, Key West, FL – Somerset Island Prep students are taking part in a new course. They are now exposed to some of the most powerful thoughts on love ever written: the sonnets of William Shakespeare.  The Keys Shakespeare Festival is a new venture of Producing Artistic Director Richard Ericson. “The Festival’s mission is world-class, island-inclusive theater here in Key West and the Florida Keys. When I learned about Island Prep’s creative and flexible approach to learning,” says Ericson, “I immediately thought of Shakespeare. His poetry and plays were popular right from the start; he had the notoriety of any rapper today. Four centuries on, the emotions, phrasings, and verbal agility of his words remain astonishing. Then as now, times were complex and full of uncertainty and even danger: Shakespeare is more relevant than ever.” 

The new class includes students from all four years, and will be exploring sonnets in the Fall semester. The Spring semester will pivot to one of the Bard’s most gripping plays, the tragic love story “Romeo and Juliet,” which the Festival will be presenting in a two-week run in Key West the last half of April, 2023.

Somerset Island Prep Principal, Thomas Rompella, said “Being able to think on your feet—literally—as you speak authentically and persuasively is one of the core skills for success as well as satisfaction. Students aren’t just ‘Shaking it up’ with these sonnets, they’re shaking themselves up for even more agile and engaged futures. All of us at Island Prep are looking forward to the results. That students’ first-hand introduction to the Festival’s Artistic Director might lead to participation in the Festival itself—whether on stage, backstage, administratively, or in the house—is yet another exciting possibility.”

Somerset Island Prep provides a rigorous and innovative academic experience that holistically develops each student and fosters their sense of purpose to prepare them to contribute both locally and globally as responsible and respectful citizens in a college preparatory environment. ‘Shake It Up’ is a great fit for the school and students.

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