Scott Van Wye, a student of Richard Phillipy at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, won first prize at the 31st annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition on May 5. Scott performed a speech by Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and a cold reading from The Tempest in addition to a sonnet. The competition was held at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 58 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Scott’s prize for placing first is a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Performance’ Category
Posted in Folger Education, Folger Library, Performance, Shakespeare, tagged English Speaking Union, National Shakespeare Competition, Peggy O'Brien, teaching Shakespeare on 05/08/2014 | Leave a Comment »
In a recent post, I requested that schools, theaters, or anyone else should stage a flash mob for the “balcony scene” from Romeo and Juliet, with a script created using Folger Digital Texts. Well, the deadline has passed, and we’ve had 28 fabulous submissions. They come from Punahou School in Hawaii; from the University of Northern Iowa; from Ottawa, Canada; from George, Kansas; and from Brooklyn, NY, among others. (more…)
Posted in Activity Idea, Folger Education, Performance, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, Videos, tagged flash mob, Folger Education, Rachel Eugster, Romeo and Juliet Balcony, Shakespeare, teaching Shakespeare, words, YouTube, YouTube videos on 04/22/2014 | Leave a Comment »
In case you’ve forgotten: Tomorrow is Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday.
In my recent post I wrote about the Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene-Flash Mob event that the Folger is hosting on YouTube. We’ve gotten lots of questions and comments about this activity, and we’re hoping that you take the time to get your students to create this scene. (more…)
By Mark Miazga
The International Baccalaureate (IB) English Higher Level curriculum and assessments are still an ideal place for Shakespeare, even though the revision of the curriculum a couple of years ago no longer makes his inclusion compulsory. While he does not fit into Part I Works in Translation of the curriculum (at least in an English speaking school), he works well in Detailed Study (Part II), Groups of Works (Part III), or Free Choice (Part IV).
I’ve been an IB English instructor for seven years, and have used Shakespeare plays each year, including Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Othello, and Richard III. I currently use Shakespeare in Detailed Study, and Shakespeare is, of course, ideal for close study. Furthermore, IB is interested in students knowing the implications of the genres that they are studying: for example, how the study of a Drama is different than studying a novel or non-fiction. They are not interested, so much, in students being able to write essays about, say, celestial imagery in Romeo and Juliet or mirrors in Richard III. Instead, they want students to be able to analyze the choices that the playwright has made and how these choices create meaning.
With this in mind, putting students in the mind of the playwright – or a director or actor – is the best way to help students to do well on the IB assessments. The assessment for Detailed Study is a 10-minute oral discussion recorded with the teacher, and students will have to answer, without rehearsal or notes, authentic questions about the experience of reading the play. Therefore, putting students in authentic assessment experiences in the classroom – making them directors, letting them cut scenes, encouraging them to play around with the language and the setting, compelling them to think about and explain why they made the choices they made – is the best way to prepare students for an authentic 10-minute oral assessment about the play. (more…)
Posted in Activity Idea, Introducing Shakespeare, Performance, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, tagged flash mob, Folger Education, Introducing Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, YouTube on 04/08/2014 | 7 Comments »
As you probably know, April 23 is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and the Folger Education staff wants to get everyone involved in the celebration. So we are hosting a Balcony Scene Flash Mob Festival. It’s simple. It’s fun. And it will get a lot of people speaking Shakespeare.
We hope to get groups from all across the country to take part.
So please join us! (more…)
Guest post by Deborah Gascon - Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, SC
Performance in AP? Didn’t think you had time with all the other pressures? Make time. Using Folger strategies in my AP classes has transformed student comprehension of difficult texts and improved their abilities to read closely–and has actually SAVED me time.
This week my AP Lit and Comp students completed poetry presentations. There were several requirements but one of them was to make the presentation engaging–there is nothing worse than sitting through 57 poetry presentations, is there?
I was impressed and amazed at how many of my students incorporated some sort of performance in their presentations. Josh taught Frost’s poem “Home Burial” and had 3 volunteers perform the different parts to show the contrast in mood. Tyler assigned each of his classmates a line of a Plath poem and asked them to create a physical movement to express the tone in the line.
My students quickly realized that performance is key to understanding and chose to incorporate in all facets of our classroom. I know that with performance my students are engaged, class is interactive, students aren’t insecure about delivering presentations and the senior slump hasn’t happened.
Here are the top 5 things I did (and suggest!) to incorporate Folger strategies in the AP classroom: (more…)
Posted in Folger Education, Folger Library, Performance, Shakespeare, Teaching, tagged Common Core, Folger Theatre, Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare festivals, teaching Shakespeare on 03/06/2014 | 7 Comments »
Let’s make a date for another day to have a longer, more nuanced conversation about the many parts of the Common Core.
For now, I just want to say that if we could put politics aside and testing aside (and unfortunately, in our beloved field of education, we can put aside neither for long), the expectations for student mastery laid out in the Common Core are the same kinds of expectations that good teachers have had for their students for centuries. Centuries.
And what gets me going on about the Common Core at the moment is that our theatre is crammed this week and next with middle and high school students performing Shakespeare at the Secondary School Shakespeare Festival. (more…)
Posted in Folger Library, Performance, Richard III, Shakespeare, tagged Elizabethan theatre, Folger Education, Folger Theatre, Janet Griffin, Peggy O'Brien, Richard III, Robert Richmond, theater in the round on 01/23/2014 | 1 Comment »
Lots of buzz around the Folger these days because Janet Griffin, Artistic Producer of the Folger Theatre, and Robert Richmond, director of our upcoming production of Richard III, are taking a walk on the wild side.
You know about the theatre here, right? Background in case you don’t: Folks here sometimes call the Folger Theatre “an evocation of an Elizabethan theatre”… not a model of any one in particular but with features like galleries and an inner above that make you think of the Globe.
It’s a sweet little 250-seat theatre tucked right inside the Library building. Janet and her team produce three or four award-winning plays a year, and if you haven’t seen a play here, put us on your New Year’s resolution list right this minute.
So how do we get from an Elizabethan theatre to the wild side? (more…)
That’s what we try to make happen each year at our Secondary School Shakespeare Festival.
In March, we’re bringing together 48 schools, with students in grades 7-12, from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Our goal? To create a gathering place where everyone is welcome, and where Shakespeare is the common ground.
Students come to the Folger for a full day and perform prepared pieces from Shakespeare, with students from other schools as their audience. Performances usually run for 25 minutes, and while we welcome abridged versions of the plays or theme-based montages, Shakespeare’s original language is king.
We’re particularly excited for this year because it’s the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday! Tell us, are you doing anything special at your school to celebrate? Are you teaming up with any schools in your area? Share with us in the comments or send Peggy an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest post by Jessica Lander
The large dented cauldrons of spicy green curry, red curry and duck soup were cloaked in hovering fog and steamy air of the monsoon season. It was evening at the Gate Market in the heart of the old city of Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand. As I slurped a bowl of noodles so spicy it induced tears, all I could think about was Macbeth.
Three days fresh from college graduation, I had boarded a plane bound for a one-year teaching fellowship at the prestigious Chiang Mai University. Growing up, my favorite musical was Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s The King and I, the story of Anna, hired by the King of Thailand to tutor the royal children. I was forever singing the lyrics to Getting to Know You, beginning with Anna’s declaration that “When you become a teacher, by your students you’ll be taught.” Now, heading to classes as a young teacher, I could not help but think of Anna.
By day I guided a hundred and fifty university students in my elementary-level English classes through the intricacies of usage between “say” and “tell”. But, I wanted something more: I wanted to teach theater. So, I approached my colleagues in the English Department with an ambitious plan. The students in the university’s English Club staged an annual play in English – Cinderella last year. Hesitantly, I proposed to direct Macbeth – my favorite Shakespeare ever since I played the First Witch and Macduff’s doomed son in a 7th grade production. The department was dubious – the language would be too difficult. I persisted. Auditions were set.
But our real challenge was not the play’s language, but its content. In one of the last countries with a revered king, I was preparing to stage a regicide. (more…)