This week in Shakespeare education focused on enrolling students in alternative modes of learning beyond the public classroom.
Three points of interest have popped up on our radar: Florida, Massachusetts, and, well, anywhere you are …
First, we turn to the Pensacola area, where home school students will soon have the opportunity to learn all the backstage and onstage elements involved in collaborating on and performing in a Shakespeare play. The director of Southeastern Teen Shakespeare Company (SETSCO), Michelle Hancock, will lead participants in the course this spring. Students ages twelve to seventeen will be able to explore movement, speech, stage combat, voice, and language as they rehearse and produce an abridged version of one of Shakespeare’s works for public performance on March 14.
The eight-week class is made possible through SETSCO’s cooperation with the Pensacola Private School of Liberal Arts.
Second, the New England chapter of the Young Shakespeare Players East, in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, will soon begin rehearsals for its spring production of Julius Caesar. Unlike other youth theatre groups, YSP is a nonprofit program without auditions or rejections. Every young actor who signs up to be a part of the company experience will receive one or more speaking roles. The experience is designed to show participants (ages seven through eighteen) the “delightful, accessible, and fun” aspects of language, drama, and stagecraft.
The pre-rehearsal intro session to Julius Caesar will take place on Wednesday, January 21 and final performances will open on Saturday, May 9.
And finally, don’t forget that the following will soon be available:
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced will become the first UK theatre to co-host a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). The Much Ado About Nothing: In Performance MOOC will take place in March 2015 giving young people aged 16–19 around the world access to leading Shakespeare experts, actors and directors.
With a growing percentage of young people using online and digital resources as a springboard to their experience of culture, the MOOC is the latest in a number of initiatives from the RSC that makes use of new technology. Other programmes include the RSC’s series of free Schools’ Broadcasts which stream RSC productions directly into classrooms throughout the UK and a new, free suite of interactive whiteboard resources for teachers …
Run by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Education Department and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Much Ado About Nothing: in Performance MOOC will look at how the play would have been staged in Shakespeare’s time, how it has been interpreted in the 20th and 21st centuries, and how the 2014 RSC production of Much Ado About Nothing (Love’s Labour’s Won) brings the play to life for a modern audience.
The course runs from 2-27 March 2015 and is hosted on the FutureLearn platform. Featuring an exclusive range of video and audio content, it is free and open to all, both in the UK and abroad.
The course begins on March 2. To watch the trailer or learn how to sign up for the Much Ado About Nothing: in Performance MOOC visit the FutureLearn website.