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

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 be writing about the following areas of “Why Drama?”:

HamLion – How Lion King is based off Hamlet

hamlion

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!!!

hamlion

Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo

Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo Card

Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo CardOk, let’s start with, I didn’t make this… but, it’s pretty darn cool! (credit to Mya Gosling) Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo.  My first thought was, it’s going to be a pretty long game.  But, my second thought was to actually make this into a game.  Have all the different scenes that relate to the squares put in the “Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo” bag.  Pull out the scene and play, review it slightly for a quick learning lesson, and have the kids mark their cards!

If … Continue reading

25 Facts about The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling

In order to celebrate the launch of my 13th book, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Kids, I put together a little “Did you know?” page.  It’s different things we learned along the path of creating this melodramatic 15 minute play from the original works of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Enjoy!

DID YOU KNOW?
Rudyard Kipling1) Disney’s cartoon version of The Jungle Book didn’t follow Rudyard Kipling’s actual story, it was “inspired” more than “based” on the book

2) The Jungle Book is a collection of 7 short stories and … Continue reading

Shakespeare Kids are Creative

kids are creative

So, I’ve done dozens of afterschool / homeschool Shakespeare for Kids programs.  As well as I’ve seen my plays performed all around the world. And one thing is VERY clear – these kids are creative! I want to pass on one piece of information that’s critical to anyone directing one of my plays: Let the kids harness their creativity, it will AMAZE you! Earlier today, at a rehearsal, I had one of my kids playing Hamlet say his line a about Yorick as “Yo-rick, who was this guy, a rapper?” It was impromptu, but hilarious!

I’m running a Romeo … Continue reading

The Merchant IN Venice!

venice ghetto

That’s right, I said “IN”, the Merchant IN Venice! Read below from one of our guest bloggers about a rare opportunity…

I have always wondered how it would be to see Shakespeare’s characters in the places which the Bard himself thought for them, how it would be to see Lorenzo wooing Jessica outside a Venetian palace or Shylock claiming the “pound of flesh” that Antonio owed him. Now you have the opportunity to walk through the streets (or “calli” in the Venetian dialect) which have inspired Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.

In the summer of … Continue reading

Why Shakespeare Tragedies are funnier than Comedies

Tragedies simplified

Ok, this is a short little post about a great little document that I found. Full credit to Cam Magee, and he summarizes this best: Everybody dies.  And THAT is why tragedies are funnier than comedies, when performed by kids melodramatically!  From the data I have collected (watching kids perform) ALL kids LOVE to die on stage! Especially, if it’s melodramatic… if they can get a laugh from the audience, the kids are all into it.  That’s part of the secret of my books, they’re fun to perform! Nothing like the end of Hamlet where there are several dead bodies … Continue reading

Book of Life and Shakespeare

the-book-of-life

book of lifeSo I just went to the movie theater with my kid to see the movie, The Book of Life. I really enjoyed the movie, and the music that goes along with it. But, what caught my surprise was the Shakespeare reference that was in it. This is a nice subtle way to get kids to reference Shakespeare. There is a little bit of Romeo and Juliet in the storyline especially when the hero dies. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but … Continue reading

Shakespeare and Science

Shakespeare and Science

So I ran across this great article and it really got me thinking about science during Shakespeare’s time.

Shakespeare and ScienceHow much science was around (well, it was all around, but how much was discovered by the 1600s?) and how was Shakespeare influenced by science?  Well, I’ll tell you this, I’m an engineer and my wife is a science teacher, and yet, I can’t tell you much about science and Shakespeare… BUT, there is a guy who can, or at least give you an idea about science used in Shakespeare’s time and the … Continue reading