Hello, faithful readers! Welcome to another weekly roundup of Shakespeare in education news …
- Last week, we mentioned the thirty-sixth annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University. Winners of the scholastic competition earned awards and scholarships in drama, dance, and music. This year’s program, held October 4 through 6, saw the highest attendance with more than two thousand eight hundred high school and middle school students participating.
- Seventy Essex students from four schools presented abridged versions of Shakespeare’s works for the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Festival organizers scripted half-hour versions of Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice for the students to use.
- As Lori noted last week, the theatre/dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater presented Spirits to Enforce, an original play by Mickle Maher, in which a group of Shakespearean spirits attempt to raise money for their performance of The Tempest. Maher’s show explores a world devoid of leadership, divinity, or art, where performers are considered superheroes.
- The Press-Enterprise covers the story of Eastvale resident and retired educator Jim Cunningham who purchased a used volume of Shakespeare’s works during his sophomore year of college and continued his interest in the playwright over the next fifty years, bringing his love for the plays to new generations of students.
- Elsewhere, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spotlights the experience of “Perk” Lawrence, the Marietta resident who joined a Shakespeare reading group in 1942 and has maintained her membership ever since.
- International reporter Courtney Cooper reflects on her trip to England with a group of students for the Foundation for International Education (FIE) program in London. Her course included theater performances and tours of important locations in Shakespeare’s life.
- And finally, as we’ve mentioned frequently here at TSS, the works of William Shakespeare have gone digital in various classrooms. A handful of iPad applications are beginning to crack into the education market and Caie Kelley writes for New American Media about how such technologies are not only working their way into students hands, but also becoming an indispensable part of their classroom experience with Shakespeare.
Other Bits of Interest
- As a follow-up to last week’s mention: Norwalk Citizen Online spotlights the efforts of Shakespeare on the Sound to raise money for “Speaking Daggers,” the Shakespeare-centric awareness program designed to combat bullying.
- Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School students in West Yorkshire will present an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing with a focus on the Beatles.
Feel free to let us hear from you. We’d love to know if you’ve seen any of the prouctions we’ve mentioned this week. Do you use the iPad apps for your Shakespeare research? Have you attended the Utah competition or the Speaking Daggers workshop? Leave a comment and start the conversation!