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!)
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!
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.
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 →
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 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.
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
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
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
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – 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
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 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
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/Mom
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