Brendan is the main creative source and author behind Playing With Plays and the infamous Shakespeare for Kids series. You can typically find him inventing by day, playing with his family by night, and writing by very late night.
Sherlock Holmes once questioned what the point was of filling his brain with useless facts, in this particular case, the Earth revolving around the Sun. As he would rather fill his brain with useful facts. Although I don’t completely agree with his philosophy, he does bring a point to light. That is, why do we learn as much as we do? Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s so we can take previous ideas, connect them, and create new ideas. The keyword here is: CREATE. Everything we do, who we are, … Continue reading →
Traveling soon and have kids? Well then, there is no better time to stop by a Shakespeare Festival. Family trips can be mundane and boring on the road, However, there are great ways to mix this up. You can play road games, you can stop by random bizarre sites along the way like a giant blue ox or motels made out of teepees or my favorite, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (BEST. ICE CREAM. EVER). Or you can stop somewhere fabulous for some great Shakespeare! Guess what!? In most cities you can find great Shakespeare Festivals pretty easily!
I received an email a few weeks ago from a teacher using my books/plays for her students because she wanted them to improve their skills in reading comprehension. She wrote the following to me:
“I used your Midsummer Night’s Dream as reading material. I couldn’t get my high school special ed students to reread anything. Their thinking was, “I have already read that once and do not need to repeat.” But, by introducing this as a play that needed to be word-perfect … Continue reading →
Over the next several weeks and months I’ll be writing a 12-part series about why drama is so important in schools. I’ll be covering several different aspects of the benefits of why we do drama, what it gives our kids that very few extra-curricular activities can give, as well as ideas and suggestions on to how to make theater a robust and staple program within your school.
I’ll be writing about the following areas of “Why Drama?”:
Readers Theater is always a fun time, and even more so with my melodramatic stories which are short and funny. But, they are even funnier with a family reunion. As we all know who the hams are in our families, don’t we?
This past holiday season, when our family came together for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, we did a readers theater three different times (it’s officially a family tradition now!) What a BLAST! My son made sure he was the director, and he gave out 3-4 books that we all shared. Then he made impromptu costumes that we all … Continue reading →
I’ve received many compliments and questions about my cover artwork over the years, and I thought I would let everyone see behind the curtain as to who is the master of this whimsical art that I’m so lucky to have grace my covers. I did a short Q&A with him. His name is Ron Leishman, and you can find his work here:
I have been so very lucky to meet a wonderful artist who has captured the plays of Shakespeare in a way unique to anything I’ve ever seen. (examples are below) As with Shakespeare, Jane Tomlinson was born and raised in Straford-upon-Avon. “The Bard has always been a towering figure in my life; his influence permeated my childhood,” she says. To mark the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016, Jane’s tribute to Shakespeare is a map of all the plays in their … Continue reading →
So, I have had a number of requests to have my logo with a Shakespeare phrase placed on some swag. So, without any further ado, I present you the Shakespeare mugs. I hope you enjoy them, as much as I do with coffee in them! If there’s one that is missing or something you want to see, please let me know and I’ll look into creating it! I’ll have more products out soon, stay tuned!!!
I ask kids all the time, “Have you ever seen The Lion King? Then you know the story of Hamlet!” Well, on the most part, yes, but not exactly… I came across this great infographic that showcases the differences and similarities and well … slight differences… like, oh, I don’t know, Elton John singing? Anyway, I thought you all would enjoy and possibly use this Hamlion graphic!!!
I recently received my copy of Brendan Kelso’s Shakespeare’s Macbeth for Kids, and I can’t wait to use it in my classroom (6th/7th language arts).
-Mary E. Moore – Teacher
The only difficulty I’m having with Brendan’s versions, is that the students can’t get enough and I am having difficulty getting them to do other things. It’s actually a problem that I wish upon all teachers.
-cnaken – Teacher
Even though Hamlet is a tragedy, for us it was more like a tragedy + comedy=tramedy!! Parents loved it. I will definitely do the play again with my new 3rd grade class next year.
-3rd grade Teacher
Kelso’s ability to mix the modern language with some of the original lines helps to create a play that is engaging to watch.
-Amy – Teacher
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/Mom
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
I read “Julius Caesar” first with my 8 year-old son and he loved it. After all it had ghosts and sword swinging… so what’s not for a boy to love.
-Pam T – Mom
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a fun and interactive way of learning or teaching Shakespeare! Love, love, loved it!
-Cora – Teacher
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – Teacher