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

I had this great opportunity to perform a silly solo rendition of Macbeth for a group of 6th graders.  As you know, I’m always trying to find fun, engaging ways to get kids to like The Bard, as you can tell by my Shakespeare for Kids books.  Well, while rehearsing, I thought of a cool idea: Why don’t I throw in as many movie references as I can to keep this engaging for the kids (and myself!).  Well, it was pretty fun putting this together.  The kids found 6 of the Macbeth movie references, and frankly, I … Continue reading

Top 10 Female Shakespeare Characters for Kids to Perform

After much feedback for my post about the Top 10 Male Shakespeare characters for kids to perform melodramatically, I had to follow up with the top 10 Female Shakespeare characters for kids to perform.  Now, keep in mind, this is from my perspective and that perspective is always from a crazy, melodramatic view.  So, from worst to first female Shakespeare characters, here they are:

Romeo  … <a href= Continue reading

Violence, Kids, and Shakespeare – It’s all good…

I was chatting with another mom the other day about telling bedtime stories to kids. Her five-year-old son had asked her to tell him a story about knights with swords. Before she knew it, she found she was telling him the story of Hamlet. She went on to describe the panic she felt when she realized that there was a lot about Hamlet that maybe wasn’t so child-friendly. Infidelity? Check. Insanity? Check. Fighting, poison, murder? Check. Check. Check. So, that raises the question: how appropriate are Shakespeare’s plays for kids, anyway?

If you’ve ever taught our plays, you’ll notice … Continue reading

Performing Shakespeare – Days 2-6ish – The Formula

This is a continuation from the article “Shakespeare in a Can: Six Days With the Bard From Start to Stage.” The second installment of performing Shakespeare.

REMEMBER, this mini-Shakespeare play you are doing is NOT a perfect play. Heck, if you want to make it perfect, please don’t do it; that’s a complete waste of creativity, and the kids are chock full of creativity – let’s pull it out! I specifically reference these plays as “Melodramatic Masterpieces,” so please don’t forget the MELODRAMA piece….  It’s what gets the parents rolling in … Continue reading

Book review – Break A Leg – Shakespeare for Kids

I am very diligent about getting kids on stage to perform Shakespeare, or any classic. Now mind you, I do mean in a FUN way (the whole reason I write melodramatic Shakespeare books). Following this mantra, I came across Lise Friedman, co-author of the movie Letters to Juliet. Well Lise is a performing arts guru and has authored a book called Break a Leg! The Kids’ Guide to Acting & Stagecraft.

The Review

After reading through this book (it is more like a kids acting bible than a book) several items popped … Continue reading

Shakespeare Drama Competition with Romeo & Juliet for Kids

drama competition I recently met a teacher from Seattle who decided to use my Romeo & Juliet for Kids play to enter a drama competition for kids in Portland, Oregon.  (It wasn’t limited to just being a Shakespeare competition, but, what a fun idea that would be!) I was able to spend a few minutes with her to see what the experience was like and to give advice to … Continue reading

Top 10 Male Shakespeare Characters for Kids to Perform

This is my personal top 10 male Shakespeare characters “for kids”. My thoughts and judgements are based around how much fun they are to perform and play melodramatically on stage, and what you can do with the character to just enjoy and have fun with Shakespeare. This is a list of the top 10 male Shakespeare characters only, the female list will be out soon.  Also, if you have any thoughts or male Shakespeare characters you think I missed, leave a comment below!

10) Prospero – (Tempest) – He’s a wizard with his own personal Monster … Continue reading

“Shake it up” with Shakespeare and Elementary Kids

Recently we were able to get in touch with a wonderfully gifted AIG teacher from North Carolina, Debra Williamson, who decided to “Shake it up” with Shakespeare!

She took a few of our plays and did a trio of melodramatic Shakespeare skits with her kids. They performed Midsummer, Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth. She referred to it as “Shake it up, Shakespeare”. Since this was such a wonderful way to approach her elementary children, we asked her to answer a few questions about her experience. Here ya go…

1) … Continue reading

Bringing Shakespeare to life

Whether you’re a teacher trying to inspire a love of Shakespeare in your students, or a parent who wants to get your child excited about literature and history, it can be both enjoyable and educational to take Shakespeare from the stage to the home. It’s one thing to memorize lines, practice dying a valiant death, or fall in love after two seconds (gross!), but making the past relevant to your kids will get them to better understand what they’re reading and performing (and they’ll have fun doing it). Here are some ideas for bringing Shakespeare to life:

Enjoy a night … Continue reading

Shakespeare Lesson Plan (Day 1): 6 weeks with the Bard

Melodramatic Shakespeare lesson planThis Shakespeare lesson plan is designed for grades 3rd – 9th – (Just an hour a week – it’s easy!)

Over the next few paragraphs I am going to give you the simple formula for using my Shakespeare for Kids books to introduce the Bard to your kids. We will do it in a way that will ensure they will LOVE him for the rest of their lives. … Continue reading