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.

Top 10 Male Shakespeare Characters for Kids to Perform

This is my personal top 10 male Shakespeare characters “for kids”. My thoughts and judgements are based around how much fun they are to perform and play melodramatically on stage, and what you can do with the character to just enjoy and have fun with Shakespeare. This is a list of the top 10 male Shakespeare characters only, the female list will be out soon.  Also, if you have any thoughts or male Shakespeare characters you think I missed, leave a comment below!

10) Prospero – (Tempest) – He’s a wizard with his own personal Monster … Continue reading

Treasure Island for Kids is here!

These are the late nights. Writing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island for Kids has been a BLAST! Possibly because it is my first foray outside of Shakespeare, possibly because it is about pirates (I mean, who doesn’t want to write about pirates, right?!?!) or possibly it’s because when it comes down to the launch of a new book, it’s always exciting! But, it’s finally here!

Treasure Island Cover Continue reading

“Shake it up” with Shakespeare and Elementary Kids

Recently we were able to get in touch with a wonderfully gifted AIG teacher from North Carolina, Debra Williamson, who decided to “Shake it up” with Shakespeare!

She took a few of our plays and did a trio of melodramatic Shakespeare skits with her kids. They performed Midsummer, Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth. She referred to it as “Shake it up, Shakespeare”. Since this was such a wonderful way to approach her elementary children, we asked her to answer a few questions about her experience. Here ya go…

1) … Continue reading

What Shakespeare can teach you about…

What Shakespeare can teach you about…EVERYTHING…Okay, I find this subject rather humorous.  It seems that anywhere you look on the web, there’s some site that can tell you how Shakespeare can teach you about fishing, or karate, or making money, or whatever!  So, I thought I would just peruse the web and see what Shakespeare can teach you about…. here are just a few I found… enjoy!

Karate

Predictive Analytics

Writing

Business

Blogging

Customer Loyalty

Money

Enlightenment

Social Media

Power, Love, and … Continue reading

Finding a New Illustrator

robert louis stevenson sketchAs some of you know I’ve been working for a while to try to find a new illustrator for a Robert Louis Stevenson caricature.  He needs to replace the Shakespeare caricature in the front row of my books.

I couldn’t quite find the right talent until I happen to stumble into a local Starbucks the other day … Continue reading

Shakespeare Insult Generator

Well hello my fellow Shakespearean insulters, or, dare I say, you bawdy, ill-breeding, maggot pies!  Just to let you know the most requested page that I get on this website is for the Shakespeare Insult Generator.  I love this for several reasons; the main one is because the Shakespeare Insult Generator is the best and fastest way for kids to engage with Shakespeare.  Another reason is that this is just plain simple fun, regardless if you’re a kid or an adult. And thirdly (if that’s even a word) who doesn’t like to engage in fun, … Continue reading

Shakespeare Music: Reaching kids with Shakespeare

Shakespeare Music. At least that what Joonee, a teacher in the Philippines, wanted to create with one of my plays. I thought she was a bit crazy, but it was her passion, and she did it, and even wrote the music herself. Most importantly the kids and audience LOVED IT. A little more about her and her process:

Q: First of all, tell me a little about yourself, what you do, and how arrived at teaching in the Philippines?

Fairies fighting Continue reading

Shakespeare Lesson Plan (Day 1): 6 weeks with the Bard

Melodramatic Shakespeare lesson planThis Shakespeare lesson plan is designed for grades 3rd – 9th – (Just an hour a week – it’s easy!)

Over the next few paragraphs I am going to give you the simple formula for using my Shakespeare for Kids books to introduce the Bard to your kids. We will do it in a way that will ensure they will LOVE him for the rest of their lives. … Continue reading