How to do an Online Reader’s Theatre

Was it perfect… no way. Was it fun, oh yeah! A group of theatre educators, drama teachers, and I got together, via zoom, to perform our Hamlet for Kids.  We were from all over… Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Anaheim, and San Luis Obispo. We did this to inspire other teachers to do remote online performances. We wanted to see if it could be done and how it would feel. I can tell you this, it was fun, exciting, engaging, and a great learning experience! And I was even a bit nervous before showtime! (I LOVE that feeling!)

Was it easy, yes!!!  … Continue reading

Summer Drama Camp in 1-week – a Simple How-To Guide

summer drama camp fun

Recently I have been contacted multiple times on how to run a 1-week summer drama camp and questions around it. So, I figured I would write a post on how to do it and hopefully help any others who want to get kids excited about Shakespeare and drama!

First of all, YES, yes you can do it. It’s easier than you think. Secondly, YES, yes the kids CAN MEMORIZE all their lines by the end of the week. I’ve taught a summer drama camp over 20 times and haven’t found a kid who couldn’t be successful yet!

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3 Quick Tips for New Drama Teachers

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

Christmas Carol Costumes

A few costumes to make The Christmas Carol for Kids play that much easier to perform.  Here are the links…

Marley’s chain

Top Hat

Bed sheet to make Marley’s Ghost – and don’t pay for that sheet, get it free here!

Vests – check with your local Goodwill or thrift store … finding vests with kids sizes is … Continue reading

Olivia Twisted – a twist on Twist

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.

So this is a great idea that came … Continue reading

Create a Performance Playbill

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

Creative Performance Ideas

This is a quick post about a couple ideas that are awesome, and all credit goes to an amazing homeschool mom, Amy.

Recently Amy directed her small homeschool co-op in one of our plays, The Tempest for Kids. In doing so, she decided to perform it in their backyard, inspired by our own Backyard Shakespeare. That being said, she quickly renamed it, … Continue reading

Environment is King for Drama

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

Character Line Quantities for Playing With Play Books

Over the years, I have taught EVERY single one of our plays, most of them multiple times, and some of them at least 20 times…. (Hamlet, Midsummer, R&J, Caesar, Macbeth…). But, one of the best tools for me to use is the Character Line Quantities spreadsheet to help me with casting.

A teacher asked me recently, “why don’t you share that?” Which I gladly did. But it hit me, why don’t I share this with EVERYONE?

There’s nothing like casting a play. Trying to figure out dynamics of who can synergize with whom; what characters will pull the most … Continue reading

The Tempest Thunder Sound

I have directed Shakespeare’s Tempest for Kids at least 6 different times, and the costumes and kids always change. But, one thing is consistent, the THUNDER TUBE! I use this great drum thunder tube by REMO to make all the thunder sounds during the play.

The kids LOVE it… so much that they want to keep playing with it, again and … Continue reading