Meet 8-year-old Borno, third-grader, elder sister, and Shakespeare Kid extraordinaire. Her parents named her Bornomala which, in Bengali, means “the garland of alphabets.” True to her name, Borno has grown to love language.
In the autumn of 2011, Borno joined our Shakespeare for Kids Library Club at her local branch. From read-aloud scripts to Elizabethan insults, Borno’s commitment, positive attitude, and passion for Shakespeare were apparent from the start.
In the winter of 2012, we invited Borno to read sonnets to loved ones for Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day. We taught her about sonnets, their structure, their rhyme scheme, and explored the messages in two of the poems. Borno delivered sonnets with ease and even went on to recite Sonnet #91 at her school talent show.
In the summer of 2012, Borno joined the Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp. As part of the Henry IV, Part I team, she helped design set and costume pieces and had several on-stage roles.
We are happy to have Borno as part of our Shakespeare family. Recently, I sat down with her to ask her a few questions about why she loves Shakespeare. Here’s what she had to say:
Laboni: Borno, why do you like Shakespeare?
Borno: I like Shakespeare, because when I read the plays, it was really interesting, and I liked it so much that I tried to read another one. That was interesting also.
Laboni: You participated in the Shakespeare for Kids Library Club and you’re participating again. What was something that you learned from the Library Club?
Borno: Some things I learned from the Library Club is that in the play, there’s lessons that teach people not to argue. For example, in Romeo & Juliet, it told you that when the two families argue – the Montagues and the Capulets – the Montague’s son, Romeo, and the Capulet’s daughter, Juliet, both DIE because the two families were arguing. So that teaches people not to argue, because it will get worse and worse and, in the end, both families will regret what they have done.
Laboni: That’s a really good point. So, do you think that if the Montagues and Capulets had not argued that their children could have had a better future?
Laboni: I think so too. You also participated in our Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids. What was your best experience in the camp?
Borno: The best part was when we came on stage and we started acting the play Henry IVth.
Laboni: What character or characters did you play?
Borno: I played Northumberland, Peto, and the Messenger.
Laboni: Did you have a favourite character out of those three?
Borno: I honestly liked the Messenger.
Laboni: Why did you like the Messenger?
Borno: Because I liked wearing the costume.
Laboni: Of course, Messengers always have the best costumes!
Borno: It was a really comfortable costume.
Laboni: So, I’m curious, what is your favourite Shakespeare play?
Borno: The Taming of the Shrew because the lesson is “never argue.” The lesson is: “Treat people the way you want to be treated,” ‘cause if you don’t treat them the way you want to be treated then they will treat you the same way.
Laboni: Borno, if you could be any character in a Shakespeare play, who would you be and why?
Borno: I would be in The Taming of the Shrew because I like it so much, and the character I’d like to be is the nice sister.
Borno: Yes, Bianca because she is really nice and behaves well.