This is a short post about an activity you can do with your kids as you get ready for the show. As many of us directors know, there are an endless number of things you can do to prepare for the performance. IN NO WAY, am I suggesting that you need to do a lot of things to have a successful performance. ( I typically … Continue reading →
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 →
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!
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 →
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!
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 →
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 what ever play I’m doing. I typically pull a few kids out, and have them die during … Continue reading →
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/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
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
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
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – 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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – 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
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
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