This week, Senior School students performed poems, monologues, novel excerpts and other pieces for our annual Recitations evening. Twenty-seven students chose to partake in one of the school’s longest-running traditions, in which students show off their oratory skills without the aid of costumes or props. As always, pieces varied from modern to ancient and from humourous to serious.
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This year, most pieces brought laughter to the audience of parents, teachers, students and staff. Grade 12 student Olivia de Goede began the evening with a piece about a young boy who inadvertently joins a girls’ field hockey team, which came from CBC radio host Stuart McLean. Other comedic pieces included monologues about blind dates, bullies, and weight-lifting.
Humour also came in the form of poetry, as Leo Marchand recited “Warnings” by contemporary poet David Allen Sullivan and Jinji Mitchell-Halter performed “Cinderella” by Anne Sexton. Many of the more contemplative pieces were pulled from the world of poetry as well. Canadian poet Irving Layton’s “The Birth of Tragedy” was done by Ben Kwok and Giuliano Bianco brought slam poetry icon Taylor Mali’s “Silverlined Heart” to the SMUS stage.
Classic pieces included T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” written about post-World War II Europe; Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” first published in 1816, and an excerpt from Homer’s “The Odyssey.” Another classical contribution to the evening was from Molière’s The Misanthrope. For the multi-lingual portions of the evening, Grade 11 student Tom Zheng performed an excerpt of a speech by Chinese leader Chairman Mao Tse-Tung in both Mandarin and English and new student Dorothee Stieber performed an excerpt from Faust by Goethe in German and English.
At the end of the evening each student received a plaque from Head of School Bob Snowden in recognition for their strong performances.