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Fun Shakespeare Stuff

HamLion – How Lion King is based off Hamlet

I ask kids all the time, “Have you ever seen The Lion King? Then you know the story of Hamlet!” Well, on the most part, yes, but not exactly… I came across this great infographic that showcases the differences and similarities and well … slight differences… like, oh, I don’t know, Elton John singing?  Anyway,…

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Performing Shakespeare for kids Costumes and Props

Simple and Free Caesar Costumes – Toga!

Two of my Shakespeare for Kids books, Julius Caesar and Hamlet, have the need for some very simple costume material: bed sheets for toga robes. All those Roman kids wear togas and Hamlet’s dad is, of course, a ghost. Both are very simple to costume up for the stage, just get some bed sheets. However,…

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Performing Shakespeare for kids

Yorick the Break Dancer (Yo-Rick!)

In my most recent direction of my Hamlet for Kids there came the moment when the young actor comes on stage and says the line, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him. When I was a kid, he was the jester, the funniest guy I knew.” And the play moves on… but, this one kid, as he…

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Shakespeare teaching ideas Performing Shakespeare for kids

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: 1) I do a 5-8 minute, melodramatic solo performance…

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Performing Shakespeare for kids

Shakespeare Kids are Creative

So, I’ve done dozens of afterschool / homeschool Shakespeare for Kids programs.  As well as I’ve seen my plays performed all around the world. And one thing is VERY clear – these kids are creative! I want to pass on one piece of information that’s critical to anyone directing one of my plays: Let the…

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Performing Shakespeare for kids

Hamming it up with Hamlet for Kids

I just finished a five-week afterschool program doing Hamlet for Kids the melodramatic version. So, I thought I would list a few pointers to make this particular class more fun and melodramatic for you and your kids. First of all, the funniest part of the entire play is the last scene, everybody dies onstage, every…

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Shakespeare teaching ideas Shakespeare in the world

Shakespeare and Science

So I ran across this great article and it really got me thinking about science during Shakespeare’s time. How much science was around (well, it was all around, but how much was discovered by the 1600s?) and how was Shakespeare influenced by science?  Well, I’ll tell you this, I’m an engineer and my wife is…

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Shakespeare in the world

Celebrity Impersonations of Hamlet’s To be or not to be Speech

I recently came across a great video through Twitter that is pretty impressive.  Jim Meskimen is a professional impersonator and he spun together a great 2 minute video that’s both engaging and original.  He was able to perform the famous, To be or not to be monologue from Hamlet with about 25 different famous celebrity…

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Shakespeare teaching ideas

Lesson Idea: The Top Ten Shakespeare List

Here is a clever idea that may engage your students in a short lesson plan, as well as open their eyes and minds to what Shakespeare has brought to the table.  Create a top ten Shakespeare list.  Here are some top ten Shakespeare ideas you can work with: Characters (Puck, Hamlet, Othello… Who’s #1?) Re-written…