So, I recently did the play, Treasure Island for Kids, and it was an absolute blast. However, when it came to costumes, those were relatively easy, until… Long John Silver. How do I show a wooden leg on a kid, on stage? I can’t have him hoping around the entire time, bound to cause tripping issues. I can’t tie up his leg behind him, … Continue reading →
Ok, I just got these REALLY cool Shakespeare tattoos, and the kids are LOVING them! Several people have asked where they can get some, so I’ve put them on my website for you to buy if you want for your kids! Enjoy! OR I’ll send them free with any books you purchase!!!
Ok, my version of Macbeth for Kids is funny, but if you have a spare 3 minutes, this is an absolutely funny and fantastic view of Macbeth and Macduff arguing over whether Macduff was actually “born” or not! Great stuff by Timothy McSweeney:
(Macbeth and Macduff are fencing in front of a castle.)
MACBETH: Macduff! Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests. I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born.
MACDUFF: Despair thy charm! Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped.
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? 1) Disney’s cartoon version of The Jungle Book didn’t follow Rudyard Kipling’s actual story, it was “inspired” more than “based” … Continue reading →
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 →
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:
1) 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 →
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.
First 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 →
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 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.
First 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 →
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/Mom
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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
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
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 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
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
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – Teacher