Summer Seminar at OSF

Every August for the past 31 years, 65 high school juniors from across the country have gathered in Ashland to improve their acting skills under the guidance of the renowned professionals of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Through the highly selective and prestigious OSF Summer Seminar, aspiring actors and actresses participate in a rigorous 12-day program involving workshops, acting classes, group projects, and nine Shakespeare plays. During this year’s program, two Ashland High School juniors, Maya Zundel and Lisa-Marie Werfel, will be given the chance to explore OSF from behind the scenes.

Lisa-Marie Werfel, AHS (soon-to-be) Senior

“I really want to get more education on and have a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s works,” said Werfel when asked why she chose to participate in this opportunity, “ It’s a lot like learning a foreign language”.

Zundel responded that she wanted to beginning laying the foundations for what she hopes will be a “prosperous” acting career, adding that she also “ [wants] to spend [her] last summer before college close to home.”

The two girls made it past the rigorous application process; now they only have to wait until July 30, the first day of Summer Seminar. On that day, Zundel and Werfel will both be moving into SOU dorms with the 63 other camp participants. The two following weeks are a whirlwind of plays and workshops. Werfel and Zundel will see OSF plays ranging from Animal Crackers to Romeo and Juliet. Not only that but they will participate in all-day workshops taught by local acting professionals. According to the OSF website, workshops include stage combat, renaissance dance, shakespearean language, hip-hop, and stage-lighting.

Despite the excitement of going to such a well-regarded acting seminar, neither Wurlf nor Zundel can help being a little nervous. Said Zundel, “I am most nervous about making a fool of myself. In acting you have to try many things before you find what works and that process

Maya Zundel plays Anita in West Side Story

can be tough sometimes. “ Werfel described how in acting, one has to constantly overcome an inevitable fear of judgement. “It sucks to get scared of all that but, at the same time, it gives a nice challenge and opportunity to grow”.

In the end, the two AHS juniors are eagerly anticipating their experience at the Oregon Shakespeare festival. “Shakespeare’s writing is so versatile; it really applies to modern issues.” Concluded Werfel, “It’s amazing, really, how any of Will Shakespeare’s plays can apply to everyday life. The amount of connections that one can make to any of his plays is just incredible. I’d like to be able to share those connections with our generation and hopefully Seminar will help me to do that.”