A theater group in India has put together a performance of The Tempest, done completely in mime. Designed specifically for grade school kids, in the fear that Shakespeare is leaving schools, this performance relies entirely on actions. No words, which makes the story telling that much more challenging. Read more about this impressive performance here in the New Indian Express.
As a classroom exercise, have your kids mime a short part of one of Shakespeare’s plays. You really need to be expressive and understand the language in order to deliver a mimed performance effectively. This will be great fun!
Traveling soon and have kids? Well then, there is no better time to stop by a Shakespeare Festival. Family trips can be mundane and boring on the road, However, there are great ways to mix this up. You can play road games, you can stop by random bizarre sites along the way like a giant blue ox or motels made out of teepees or my favorite, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (BEST. ICE CREAM. EVER). Or you can stop somewhere fabulous for some great Shakespeare! Guess what!? In most cities you can find great Shakespeare Festivals pretty easily!
I received an email a few weeks ago from a teacher using my books/plays for her students because she wanted them to improve their skills in reading comprehension. She wrote the following to me:
“I used your Midsummer Night’s Dream as reading material. I couldn’t get my high school special ed students to reread anything. Their thinking was, “I have already read that once and do not need to repeat.” But, by introducing this as a play that … Continue reading →
I have been so very lucky to meet a wonderful artist who has captured the plays of Shakespeare in a way unique to anything I’ve ever seen. (examples are below) As with Shakespeare, Jane Tomlinson was born and raised in Straford-upon-Avon. “The Bard has always been a towering figure in my life; his influence permeated my childhood,” she says. To mark the 400th anniversary … Continue reading →
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.
I have seen a lot of Shakespeare artwork. Many pieces of work about what he looks like and many pieces of work about his plays. However, I’ve never seen anything that puts it all together as effectively as the art of Jane Tomlinson. She has literally put Shakespeare’s world on a map! She has placed every play in it’s proper location with a little excerpt that identifies that particular play. For example, a bloody hand for Macbeth or a bear for The Winter’s Tale.
She has also created a British and then Italy version as well. You can find all of Continue reading →
That’s right, I said “IN”, the Merchant IN Venice! Read below from one of our guest bloggers about a rare opportunity…
I have always wondered how it would be to see Shakespeare’s characters in the places which the Bard himself thought for them, how it would be to see Lorenzo wooing Jessica outside a Venetian palace or Shylock claiming the “pound of flesh” that Antonio owed him. Now you have the opportunity to walk through the streets (or “calli” in the Venetian dialect) which have inspired Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.
I work hard to make sure kids find him funny with my Shakespeare for Kids books. But what’s equally clear to me, teens generally consider Shakespeare boring or “Why is my teacher wasting my life reading this #$%@” As I have seen on Twitter many times. But hey, if it’s not presented right, it comes across that there are a lot of big words, most of the language we don’t really understand, and don’t even mention iambic pentameter, what the heck is that?
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – Teacher
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
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
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
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
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
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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom