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Performing Shakespeare for kids

Script Highlighting – If it’s blue, it’s what you do!

Script highlighting
If it’s blue…

I work with dozens and dozens of kids every year on memorizing lines and learning blocking while directing and teaching my Shakespeare for Kids plays. There’s a technique that I learned from another one of my instructors, Angi, about script highlighting that I want to share with you. Essentially, many of these kids have never been taught how to highlight or what basic blocking and stage directions are. So, to make it easy to teach these new kids, I’ve created a little saying for the kids to catch on to: IF IT’S YELLOW, IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW; IF IT’S BLUE, IT’S WHAT YOU DO.

All I do now is hand out blue and yellow highlighters, and explain, “If it’s yellow, it’s what you know; if it’s blue, it’s what you do” and then proceed to script highlighting. I demonstrate that their speaking lines are highlighted yellow, and their stage directions, any thing in parentheses, blue. This is a visualization technique to help the kids understand what to do and when to do it.

To the right is an example of script highlighting that I teach the kids.  This is my son’s script. By the way, fun challenge, which play is this one?  You can purchase all blue or yellow boxes of highlighters at Amazon:

Blue Highlighters

Yellow Highlighters

Have fun!

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By brendan kelso

Brendan is the main creative source and author behind Playing With Plays and the infamous Shakespeare for Kids series. You can typically find him inventing by day, playing with his family by night, and writing by very late night.

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