MYRTLE POINT – One Myrtle Point High School student has been accepted into the prestigious Oregon Shakespeare Festival summer seminar, where only 65 students are chosen each year.
Jack Isenhart will be gone from July 31 to August 15, and half of his $2,500 camp tuition has been covered by a scholarship offered through the program.
“This is something my drama teacher always talked about, she wanted me to apply for this, and at first it just seemed like a thought rather than a reality,” Isenhart said. “It is not the easiest camp to get into and she has only ever had one other student be accepted into it.”
His teacher, Lisa Crew, helped Isenhart pull together his recommendation letters and encouraged him to finish his essays needed to apply.
“She really wanted me to get this, so I have to give her all the credit,” Isenhart said.
The OSF summer seminar searches and accepts exceptional juniors into the program, where for two weeks they will learn about a professional theater company. Students learn about monologues, get face time with the troop's performers who also teach them about acting techniques to help make scripts like Shakespeare easier to understand and more entertaining.
“It is quite an honor,” Crew said. “Jack is a terrific, talented kid and one of the nicest teenagers I've had the pleasure to work with through my 20-plus years in education.”
Isenhart has been in theater since he was young. This past year, his theater troop at Myrtle Point High School put on its first Shakespeare show, “Much Ado About Nothing.”
“We weren't excited about it at first because the language was hard to get past,” Isenhart said, “but then once you do get past it, you find out how funny Shakespeare was and how interesting his plays could be.”
The troop also put on its first musical, “You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” where Isenhart played Snoopy.
“We did a free performance for the entire elementary school and they laughed at things the adults never did,” Isenhart said. “It was fun and I'm excited to get more experience.”
Isenhart also has a YouTube channel, which started out as mini movies, to feature more theater pieces. He has entered films with his brother, Tom Isenhart, into contests and festivals, but though they haven't won anything yet, Isenhart has hope they will eventually.
“As for the summer seminar, I think I'm most looking forward to being with other kids who have the same passions as me,” Isenhart said. “I love my drama troop here, they are supportive, but to be around other kids who are also interested in art and theater will be fun. Being from a rural community, it can be hard because art isn't always highlighted, so this camp will be a great experience.”