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.
I am often asked by teachers, when I present to their classes, to give their kids my top two or three tips they should focus on while they rehearse. Although there are so many tips that one could give, it always comes down to the following three for me:
1) PROJECT YOUR VOICE – One of the biggest challenges I find for kids is their ability to project their voices. Some get it confused with yelling. But really, basic projection comes from the diaphragm. Projecting your voice goes for both a larger setting as well as smaller settings. … Continue reading →
This post is about a fantastic twist on Twist for those wishing to do an all-female version of Oliver Twist for Kids!
Unfortunately, most plays are male-centric, with few female leads. There are some, such as Pride and Prejudice for Kids and Little Women for Kids (not yet released) that have more roles for females than males. And it is true, that females can play the male leads with no issues in most plays. But sometimes, this gets old. And you want something with more females than males.
Ok, this is a REALLY FUN improv drama game that your kids will LOVE! It’s called, SHATNER! (At least the adults of the kids will surely love it!) 🙂 (I did not think of this game, and due credit goes to where I heard of it from; the Facebook group, Homeschool Snark.)
This is a short post about an activity you can do with your kids as you get ready for the show. As many of us directors know, there are an endless number of things you can do to prepare for the performance. IN NO WAY, am I suggesting that you need to do a lot of things to have a successful performance. ( I typically … Continue reading →
First of all, this was not my idea! But, it’s a brilliant way to engage your kids with Shakespeare, especially high schoolers! All credit goes to Larry Reiff (@Mrreiff) – as he says, “All the world’s an e-stage”! Love it!
Now, onto the great idea… Shakespeare analyzed via memes. I know this is not traditional, but hey, we are about engaging our kids with the wonderful language and stories of Shakespeare any way possible, and this is PERFECT!
So simply, he has the kids analyze a scene and then find photos and memes that go with specific phrases. See examples below. … Continue reading →
I know that question is a bit ridiculous. This is more about an episode of Doctor Who I watched where Shakespeare was the focal point of their adventure. It was quite cleverly written and I found it very interesting. The premise of the story was around Shakespeare’s missing play, Loves Labors Won, and the story behind it.
I was talking with a mom earlier this morning, and she said something very interesting. She said that her daughter loves my drama classes, and talks about me frequently when it comes to drama. Although I’m glad I inspire the kids, it’s not the point of this story. What is interesting is she followed up with a different comment, one that puts the previous … Continue reading →
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 heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – Teacher
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
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
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
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
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom