Shakespeare & You

Shakespeare_youThe Iowa Shakespeare Project’s most popular in-class residency program is once again available in a revised, more relevant format for modern youth, incorporating curriculum developed at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The basic structure of the program – coaching students to approach the play as actors would by performing scenes in class – has been augmented, utilizing key passages of  text along with improvisation and rehearsal techniques used by the professional company at the Globe to illuminate the language and create a shift in perspective for the students. Current workshops include:

  • Romeo & Juliet – Lifted by Language – demonstrates how the use of heightened language raises our expectations of each other’s actions and increases the likelihood of greater success, greater dignity, and worthier actions for the students.
  • Hamlet: Catching the Conscience – uses text from Hamlet to highlight issues of social awkwardness stemming from the emergence of the individual from the nuclear family. Common forces that drive social and antisocial behaviors are addressed.
  • Words Wield the Matter – uses text from King Lear to explore the inherent conflicts of being a child and an adult simultaneously and helps prepare the students for a life that includes aged, infirm, or otherwise compromised parents.

Shakespeare & You works best with high school students, but can be adapted for other age groups.  Workshops have also been presented using other Shakespeare plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and The Taming of The Shrew.  If your class is reading one of these plays (or another play we haven’t mentioned), let us know and we’ll create a workshop based on your curricular goals for your students.