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 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

Shakespeare for Kids Art Q&A with the Illustrator

macbeth for kids

Caesar for KidsI’ve received many compliments and questions about my cover artwork over the years, and I thought I would let everyone see behind the curtain as to who is the master of this whimsical art that I’m so lucky to have grace my covers.  I did a short Q&A with him. His name is Ron Leishman, and you can find his work here:

Toonaday.com

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Beautiful Shakespeare Art

Jane TomlinsonI have been so very lucky to meet a wonderful artist who has captured the plays of Shakespeare in a way unique to anything I’ve ever seen. (examples are below) As with Shakespeare, Jane Tomlinson was born and raised in Straford-upon-Avon. “The Bard has always been a towering figure in my life; his influence permeated my childhood,” she says. To mark the 400th anniversary of his … Continue reading

Mugs, mugs, mugs…

So, I have had a number of requests to have my logo with a Shakespeare phrase placed on some swag. So, without any further ado, I present you the Shakespeare mugs. I hope you enjoy them, as much as I do with coffee in them! If there’s one that is missing or something you want to see, please let me know and I’ll look into creating it! I’ll have more products out soon, stay tuned!!!

she is  … <a href= Continue reading

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 Continue reading