Guest teacher enlightens junior English class


Julia Sassoon

On Thursday, December 7th, John Bolger, TV, film and stage actor paid a visit to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. Bolger prepared a presentation and spoke for Gwyn Nielsen’s junior English classes.
Around 20 years ago, Bolger played the role of Macbeth in a professional theater in Tribeca, New York City.
The purpose of Bolger’s presentation was to share his experiences performing Macbeth professionally on stage. He taught a class on understanding the important points of Macbeth and went over the beauty of Shakespeare’s language.
“My intention is always to bring my own enthusiasm and help spread that enthusiasm to others,” Bolger said.
An important point conveyed during the presentation was the complex themes and imagery present within Macbeth. Bolger explained the presence of dark supernatural characters that are intertwined with the human qualities of Macbeth, as well as how the play deals with loyalty, betrayal, and passion.
“Macbeth is not just great storytelling and great theater, but there are also great themes about life and death, existence and survival, and what it means to be alive,” Bolger said.
Through the presentation, Nielsen’s students gained a much deeper perspective on the plot elements of Macbeth.
“John Bolger was able to breathe life into Macbeth,” Nielsen said, “The presentation left students with the idea that Macbeth is in all of us, and that Macbeth is a timeless character to whom we all can relate.”
Following the presentation, Bolger had a discussion with the students during which students could ask any questions about his experiences.
Bolger’s presentation provided the students with unique, behind-the-scenes insight on their literature curriculum. They were able to witness the talent of a real life actor in order to explain the important concepts of their class.