According to Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn, if you can act Shakespeare, you can act anything. The same could be said of reading Shakespeare and understanding Shakespeare’s plays. That’s why studying and performing Shakespeare is an excellent foundation for young actors and scholars, boosting their literacy and comprehension skills while introducing them to the art of performing in a great classical tradition.
Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, WEDJ is partnering with the Shakespeare Theatre Company to provide all of our conservatory classes in theatre. Actors from STC will teach age-appropriate classes to kindergarteners through eighth graders. Education is a significant and critical component of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s mission, and STC has long offered conservatory classes for serious and established actors as well as classes, camps, and workshops for young people.
In the process of learning about and acting out the plays, students gain significant literacy skills as they expand their vocabularies, learn to look for contextual clues, understand poetic techniques and devices, and learn how to find the main idea in a text and paraphrase it.
In the fall, all students will study A Midsummer Night’s Dream and see the full-length professional Shakespeare Theatre Company production. In the spring, students will focus on Romeo and Juliet and then see the STC production.
Here’s what else students can expect from their theatre classes this fall.
Learn about Shakespeare’s stories and characters through storybook adaptations of the plays.
Read scenes from the plays, analyze the text, and perform scenes from the plays.
Read the plays, analyze the text, and perform condensed versions of the play on stage for their peers and families.