Becka Nazario Wright, a teacher at the Falk Laboratory School at the University of Pittsburgh, staged Macbeth with her first graders and found that the young students responded well to the play’s plot points and characters. This summer, Wright and Carrie Smith (one of Falk’s middle school language arts instructors) took their knowledge on tour for local children.
… even young students soon realize that ‘Macbeth is a bully, ambitious and kind of a coward’
Through the co-operation and support of PICT Classic Theatre, the two teachers introduced Shakespeare to nearly two hundred young performers. They brought A Midsummer Night’s Dream to day camps in the area and received much enthusiasm from the girls and boys. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PICT’s artistic and executive director Alan Stanford says that the initiative gives the children confidence to articulate and communicate.
The Post-Gazette notes that Wright has taken inspiration from Kevin Coleman of Shakespeare & Co. As she navigates the characters simple motives with the kids, she remembers to “play” with Shakespeare’s works because they were written to be played.
The Falk Laboratory School will also produce The Tempest with their first and sixth graders this winter.