Shakespeare wrote words to be spoken aloud and plays to be performed, which is why a practical approach to Shakespeare in the classroom should be an essential component of study.
Freeing students from desk-bound activity and getting them to explore Shakespeare on their feet allows both the teacher and student to experience the stories as works of literature to be read but also as examples of living theatre.
The simple classroom transition from page to stage, the clearing away the tables and chairs and speaking the text aloud yields an abundance detail about the characters, their relationships, the dramatic conflict between them etc. that reading alone fails to accomplish.
The U.K government recently announced a new teaching initiative that with the help of the RSC and The Globe Theatre aims to breath new life into Shakespeare learning for thousands of British schoolchildren.
Read the Guardian article here.
Since last blogging, I am delighted to announce that I have signed with Sheree Bykofsky Associates and inch closer to publication of my non-fiction title, To Play Or Not To Play: 40 games For Acting Shakespeare.
In other writing news -
I am currently redrafting a Theatre In Education play for key stage 3 children, based in part on Macbeth, and centred round the lives of a teenage couple searching to escape the poverty of their lives any which way.
Also, I recently completed an adaptation for stage of several Chekhov short stories as well as finishing work on a short story of my own, Micky Last Sees the Light.
In the interim, I have been to the theatre! More precisely, to the school hall of Pacifica High School in Santa Monica, where I saw a bold and thought-provoking production of Mother Courage.
And yesterday, I sat in Altadena library and while my son decided between Animal Farm or Brave New World* I picked up the February edition of The New Yorker and read one of the most beautifully crafted short stories I have come across.
As you can probably tell...I do not have a blog regime (shamefully, this is my first blog since October), but it was Claire Keegan's story, Foster that compelled me to write today and urge you all to go out and buy her work!
*Q. Brave New World is a line from what Shakespeare play?