Backyard Shakespeare – A Homeschool Experience

backyard Shakespeare

Backyard Shakespeare. What is that, you may ask. Well, it’s a very ingenious and creative way to engage homeschooled kids with Shakespeare, education, language arts, drama, and most importantly, fun!  

I recently had the privilege to teach a group of 7 kids Playing With Plays The Tempest for Kids and we had a BLAST! Best part, we did it in the backyard of a house of one of the homeschooling families.  Their deck was a natural stage. So, a few costumes, a few scripts, a few rehearsals, and BAM! We’ve got a fun, melodramatic Shakespeare play performing in … 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

Sneak Peek at Shakespeare for Kids Books

Many people ask to see a sample of my books.  So, I finally did it… here is the link to see a small excerpt from each and every title that I have.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Sneak Peek at Shakespeare for Kids books

Monks and Grim Reaper Cape Costume – Simple

So, I recently directed Oliver Twist for Kids and am about to direct A Christmas Carol for Kids. In doing so, I have come across a great costume that is both inexpensive and very effective as a fun kids cape to wear. As you may or may not know, there is a creepy villain, that is constantly referred to as the caped guy, in Oliver Twist named Monks. (Think of the villain from Meet The Robinsons).  As well, there is the fourth ghost in A Christmas Carol that is the Grim Reaper. Both these characters can easily wear the … Continue reading

Portable Sides for Easy Stage Productions Anywhere!

Figure 9 - complete assembly

So, I teach Shakespeare for Kids classes all over the place, and most venues I teach at do not come with stages. I’ve performed in gyms, dance rooms, dojos, boyscout meeting areas, and classrooms. One thing is consistent, I need a place for the actors to go “off-stage”. That is why I created easy-to-assemble sides, built to travel and make an instant performance space!

Below are the simple instructions for the inexpensive and portable sides. Once created, these sides take about 10 minutes to put up and take down, which makes them GREAT for quick performances like Continue reading

Script Highlighting – If it’s blue, it’s what you do!

blue highlighter for script highlighting

I work with dozens and dozens of kids every year on memorizing lines and learning blocking while directing and teaching my Shakespeare for Kids plays. There’s a technique that I learned from another one of my instructors, Angi, about script highlighting that I want to share with you. Essentially, many of these kids have never been taught how to highlight or what basic blocking and stage directions are. So, to make it easy to teach these new kids, I’ve created a little saying for the kids to catch on to: IF IT’S YELLOW, IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW; IF IT’S BLUE, … Continue reading

Crystal Ball for Caesar – Magic 8-ball!

magic 8-ball

So, I always have fun and do my best to work the laughs for the audience in my melodramatic Shakespeare for Kids plays.  That’s certainly true with my performance of Julius Caesar for Kids! I used one specific prop to get some laughs. The Magic 8 Ball! (find it here on Amazon) That’s right, the soothsayer came out to warn Caesar about the “Ides of March” and then pulled out the Magic 8-ball to prove it so! The audience loved it, and, more importantly, the kids loved using it! Fun for all!

Enjoy! Continue reading

Simple and Free Caesar Costumes – Toga!

bed sheet toga

Two of my Shakespeare for Kids books, Julius Caesar and Hamlet, have the need for some very simple costume material: bed sheets for toga robes. All those Roman kids wear togas and Hamlet’s dad is, of course, a ghost. Both are very simple to costume up for the stage, just get some bed sheets. However, even the cheapest bed sheets are about $4-5 a piece… too pricey for my blood. But, there is a GREAT and inexpensive solution, your local hotel. (see below for some fun photos)

All hotels go through bed sheets all … Continue reading

Long John Silver Wooden Leg

Wooden leg sock set

Wooden leg sock setSo, I recently did the play, Treasure Island for Kids, and it was an absolute blast. However, when it came to costumes, those were relatively easy, until… Long John Silver.  How do I show a wooden leg on a kid, on stage? I can’t have him hoping around the entire time, bound to cause tripping issues.  I can’t tie up his leg behind him, something about … Continue reading

Shakespeare Tattoos – Kids LOVE them!

kids shakespeare tattoos

Ok, I just got these REALLY cool Shakespeare tattoos, and the kids are LOVING them! Several people have asked where they can get some, so I’ve put them on my website for you to buy if you want for your kids!  Enjoy!  OR I’ll send them free with any books you purchase!!!

kids shakespeare tattoos Continue reading