25 Facts about The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling

In order to celebrate the launch of my 13th book, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Kids, I put together a little “Did you know?” page.  It’s different things we learned along the path of creating this melodramatic 15 minute play from the original works of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Enjoy!

DID YOU KNOW?
Rudyard Kipling1) Disney’s cartoon version of The Jungle Book didn’t follow Rudyard Kipling’s actual story, it was “inspired” more than “based” … Continue reading

Yorick the Break Dancer (Yo-Rick!)

In my most recent direction of my Hamlet for Kids there came the moment when the young actor comes on stage and says the line, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him. When I was a kid, he was the jester, the funniest guy I knew.” And the play moves on… but, this one kid, as he was going through rehearsing in many different ways, stumbled on saying it as “Yo, Rick” and his first improv was around, “Who is this Rick guy?”  But, he settled for going with the break dancer avenue, as he put it, “the best breakdancer I ever knew…” Well, see … Continue reading

Death Auditions – Give me your best Death!

I recently coached a parent who was running an after-school program, and she asked me how I do the “death auditions” for my plays.  It made me realize that I haven’t done a simple quick layout of my first day for a while, so, here it is:

Caesar1) I do a 5-8 minute, melodramatic solo performance of whatever play I’m doing.  I typically pull a few kids out, and have them die during the … Continue reading

Hamming up Romeo and Juliet

juliet

So, I just performed Romeo and Juliet with a bunch of kids yesterday, and there were some fun anecdotal events that occurred that I just have to share! Maybe you can integrate these into your performance someday.

romeoFirst of all, Star Wars is all the rage, so Tybalt decided to walk out on the stage with a light saber in hand ready to duel and Mercutio took one look at him … Continue reading

Shakespeare Kids are Creative

kids are creative

So, I’ve done dozens of afterschool / homeschool Shakespeare for Kids programs.  As well as I’ve seen my plays performed all around the world. And one thing is VERY clear – these kids are creative! I want to pass on one piece of information that’s critical to anyone directing one of my plays: Let the kids harness their creativity, it will AMAZE you! Earlier today, at a rehearsal, I had one of my kids playing Hamlet say his line a about Yorick as “Yo-rick, who was this guy, a rapper?” It was impromptu, but hilarious!

I’m running a Romeo … Continue reading

Hamming it up with Hamlet for Kids

I just finished a five-week afterschool program doing Hamlet for Kids the melodramatic version. So, I thought I would list a few pointers to make this particular class more fun and melodramatic for you and your kids.

Hamlet for KidsFirst of all, the funniest part of the entire play is the last scene, everybody dies onstage, every kid LOVES to die on stage melodramatically! Focus on having fun and getting this scene dialed in. It allows your … Continue reading

Why Shakespeare Tragedies are funnier than Comedies

Tragedies simplified

Ok, this is a short little post about a great little document that I found. Full credit to Cam Magee, and he summarizes this best: Everybody dies.  And THAT is why tragedies are funnier than comedies, when performed by kids melodramatically!  From the data I have collected (watching kids perform) ALL kids LOVE to die on stage! Especially, if it’s melodramatic… if they can get a laugh from the audience, the kids are all into it.  That’s part of the secret of my books, they’re fun to perform! Nothing like the end of Hamlet where there are several dead bodies … Continue reading

STAGEiT! Shakespeare – Grades 5-8 – Book Review

STAGEiT Shakespeare

This is a book review of STAGEiT! Shakespeare.  The author of STAGEiT! Shakespeare is Floyd Rumohr, and he was gracious enough to send me a few copies so I could review them and give some away to my followers.  I have 3 copies of STAGEiT! Shakespeare Grades 5-8 to give away, read on to learn how to be entered for this giveaway!

First of all, I’m all about making Shakespeare much more accessible to the kids, as you all know from the Shakespeare for Kids books that I write.

So, when I got a chance to … Continue reading

Can you find the 14 Movie References in this 4-Min Hamlet?

Hamlet is Crazy

That’s right, Hamlet, not Macbeth which I wrote about the other day. (did you find the 14 movie references in my crazy Macbeth version yet?) Well, as I said previously, I put this together for a 6th grade class as a kick off to performing a few of my melodramatic Shakespeare plays.

A few years ago, when I did a different solo Hamlet, I ended it with Hamlet talking to Claudius and saying, “you killed my father, prepare to die” in the best Inigo Montoya voice … Continue reading