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Blevins Takes Center Stage
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For the past four years Stacy Blevins, the woman behind the popular Shakespeare In the Park hosted at Jacob Myers Park each summer, has been the driving creative force that has helped guide and direct actors through the complicated verse of Shakespeare's Old English, but this year will be different. Blevins is no longer at the helm but rather the deck as she prepares with the other players to present Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' buccaneer-style.

An English and theater teacher at Riverbank High for the past 12 years, Blevins' deep love for the classics is self-evident as she enjoys delving into the works of Dickens, Hawthorne and her personal favorite - Jane Austen - but the work of Shakespeare holds a special place in her heart and introducing students and adults alike to the venerable master of human frailties is a joy she savors.

"Some of the people who will love Shakespeare have never even heard it yet," Blevins said. "Many people think they hate Shakespeare until they do it and they fall in love with it. What's interesting and what I tell my students is that anything you see in reality television Shakespeare did it first."

For Blevins, her introduction to Shakespeare was born from her love of theater and books. College was filled with productions of varying types but somewhere along the way, she realized that perhaps a back-up plan might behoove her in case her path didn't quite lead straight to an illustrious career on the boards.

"Actually, I never really wanted to be a famous actress," Blevins mused. "But I truly loved the theater. Then I started working in the writing workshop and I fell in love with that. Plus, it seemed a more sane thing to do to become a teacher."

As for everyone, life was full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises but Blevins surely fell into her niche as she has not stopped inspiring young minds to reach for loftier heights within themselves using the art form of the written word and the stage. To this, Blevins is owed the highest compliment as her students continue to remember her long after they've left the hallowed halls of their alma mater, which happily enough, Blevins is proud to call her own as well.

"I graduated from Riverbank High and it's a really nice place to work. I wouldn't go anywhere else," she said.