Backyard Shakespeare – A Homeschool Experience

backyard Shakespeare

Backyard Shakespeare. What is that, you may ask. Well, it’s a very ingenious and creative way to engage homeschooled kids with Shakespeare, education, language arts, drama, and most importantly, fun!  

I recently had the privilege to teach a group of 7 kids Playing With Plays The Tempest for Kids and we had a BLAST! Best part, we did it in the backyard of a house of one of the homeschooling families.  Their deck was a natural stage. So, a few costumes, a few scripts, a few rehearsals, and BAM! We’ve got a fun, melodramatic Shakespeare play performing in … Continue reading

Shakespeare Festivals

shakespeare festivals

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!

Educators always say, and I’m … Continue reading

Portable Sides for Easy Stage Productions Anywhere!

Figure 9 - complete assembly

So, I teach Shakespeare for Kids classes all over the place, and most venues I teach at do not come with stages. I’ve performed in gyms, dance rooms, dojos, boyscout meeting areas, and classrooms. One thing is consistent, I need a place for the actors to go “off-stage”. That is why I created easy-to-assemble sides, built to travel and make an instant performance space!

Below are the simple instructions for the inexpensive and portable sides. Once created, these sides take about 10 minutes to put up and take down, which makes them GREAT for quick performances like Continue reading

Crystal Ball for Caesar – Magic 8-ball!

magic 8-ball

So, I always have fun and do my best to work the laughs for the audience in my melodramatic Shakespeare for Kids plays.  That’s certainly true with my performance of Julius Caesar for Kids! I used one specific prop to get some laughs. The Magic 8 Ball! (find it here on Amazon) That’s right, the soothsayer came out to warn Caesar about the “Ides of March” and then pulled out the Magic 8-ball to prove it so! The audience loved it, and, more importantly, the kids loved using it! Fun for all!

Enjoy! Continue reading

Long John Silver Wooden Leg

Wooden leg sock set

Wooden leg sock setSo, 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, something about … 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 what ever play I’m doing.  I typically pull a few kids out, and have them die during the solo … 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 and said, … Continue reading