The Arts Project: Day 4

Today began with a look at refining and improving. We discussed how things could be refined and improved, from adding detail, to rehearsing, to improving the script, to adding technical elements, to changing the direction. Then we gave the students 3 hours to do just that. What they came up with was amazing. From costumes to dance routines to layered vocal sounds to slam poetry … Continue reading The Arts Project: Day 4

Teaching Shakespeare

I’ve been passionate about Shakespeare since before I attended high school… however, I know this isn’t the case for many students… or teachers. Recently I returned from the greatest few weeks working with the Globe Theatre in London, developing a deeper love for Shakespeare and a passion for engaging even younger kids with his works. I developed this teaching unit for use in middle and … Continue reading Teaching Shakespeare

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 12 – Twelfth Night

And thus we reach the last play in our list of the 12 Plays of Christmas.  Today is Twelfth Night, signaling the last day of winter, and Epiphany Eve, and work beginning again in the fields… so Twelfth Night is all about fun, and removing Christmas decorations.  The play “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare is all about fun. “Twelfth Night” is my favourite comedy.  It … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 12 – Twelfth Night

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 11 – Henry VIII

Welcome to the 11th Play of Christmas.  Today we shall look at Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII”. Unusually, “Henry VIII” isn’t performed that often, which is a sad thing because it is a great play.  Following the story of Henry VIII through the end of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his second marriage to Ann Boleyn.  The actual story is gripping, and adding the … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 11 – Henry VIII

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 10 – The Merchant of Venice

Welcome to Day 10!  Traditionally January 3 is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. This remembers when Jesus was officially ‘named’ in the Jewish Temple. So what better choice of play than “The Merchant of Venice”. “The Merchant of Venice” centers around a few key players.  Portia, who needs to marry, is keen on Bassanio.  He however lacks money, so works on a … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 10 – The Merchant of Venice

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 9 – Othello

Welcome to Day 9.  Traditionally the 9th day of Christmas is for the well-traveled saints… and who do we know who is well-traveled?  The Moor of Venice. Othello is a well crafted tragedy setting up the relationship between the Moor Othello, a general, and his fair wife, Desdemona.  It doesn’t help that they initially ran off in secret to get married, or that Othello overlooked … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 9 – Othello

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 8 – Pericles, the Prince of Tyre

Welcome to Day 8 and 2018!  Yay!  Today brings us to one of my favourite Shakespearean plays – “Pericles; The Prince of Tyre”.  Over the last few years I have become obsessed with trying to win this award for the most unusual choice of play, which has led to me reading a number of unusual Shakespearean texts.  “Pericles; The Prince of Tyre” has it all, … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 8 – Pericles, the Prince of Tyre

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 7 – MacBeth

As New Years Eve is known as Hogmany in Scotland, what better choice for the 12 Plays of Christmas for Day 7 than ‘the Scottish Play’ itself, “MacBeth”. “MacBeth” is a tragedy centred around the character MacBeth, as he plots and takes over the role as King of Scotland.  MacBeth, a soldier, bumps into witches who predict he will become Thane of Cawdor and well … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 7 – MacBeth

12 Plays of Christmas – Day 6 – The Merry Wives of Windsor

Today we shall dive headfirst into the “Merry Wives of Windsor” for the 12 Plays of Christmas…. why?  Well, long story short, there are many places called Windsor, and many plays with Falstaff in them. There are 2 plots within the play.  The first involves Falstaff attempting to trick married women, saying that he loves them (in identical letters).  The women are smart and compare … Continue reading 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 6 – The Merry Wives of Windsor

The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 5 – Henry V

Welcome to Day 5 of the 12 Plays of Christmas. The 5th day of Christmas celebrates St Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury at one point.  So today’s play is “Henry V”, as well, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a character in the play.  That’s enough of a reason for me. “Henry V” is a play that hardly needs introduction, as well, Henry goes to … Continue reading The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 5 – Henry V