About brendan kelso

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.

Why Drama is so Important in School – PART 4 – PRESENTATION SKILLS

PRESENTATION SKILLS – is part 4 of the 12 part series: Why Drama is so Important in Schools.

No matter where you go in life, you’re going to have to Get up in front of a group, a class, or an audience and present an idea for a project, a report, a paper, or some other material.  Even if it is just your boss and you want to pitch a new project, you will need to prepare and present your idea.

This is … Continue reading

Why Drama is so Important in School – PART 3 – SOCIAL SKILLS

Part 3 of the 12 part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – SOCIAL SKILLS

why drama?In a day and age where we see more and more kids with their noses buried in a phone screen, the social skills naturally generated on the school and play grounds are drifting away.  We are creating a society that will physically come together in … Continue reading

Ophelia’s Crazy Song

Did you know Ophelia actually sings a lunacy song in Hamlet?  It’s sprinkled throughout the act, but here’s the basic text. Enjoy!


How should I your true love know

  From another one?

By his cockle hat and staff,

  And his sandal shoon.

He is dead and gone, lady,

  He is dead and gone,

At his head a grass-green turf,

  At his heels a stone.

Ophelia crazy 2 Continue reading

Jungle Book for Kids – Costumes

jungle book costumes

I have had several people reach out to me who are performing my Jungle Book for Kids and ask about costumes.  So, to make it easy for everyone, this is what I have done for my performances in the past.  Please keep one thing in mind, ALL my performances use a minimal costume set. This makes it both economical as well as focused on the kids.  That being said, here is what I did for each character. (disclaimer, there are affiliate links here, but you pay the same, I just get a small % of the sale via Amazon – … Continue reading

Why Drama is so Important in School – PART 2 – CREATIVITY

why drama?

Part 2 of the 12 part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – CREATIVITY

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

Shakespeare Festivals

shakespeare festivals

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!

Educators always say, and I’m … Continue reading

Why Drama is so Important in School – PART 1 – COMPREHENSION

Part 1 of the 12 part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – COMPREHENSION

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 … Continue reading

Why Drama is so Important in Schools

why drama?

why drama?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 … Continue reading

Family Reunion Readers Theater

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