Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts For Young Players

Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts For Young Players by Elizabeth Weinstein


Does your class or children’s group need a jump start in producing thrilling, engrossing, lively theater?


Joy, greed, love, fear, and gluttony are just a few of the elements woven into Shakespeare’s plays; these timeless topics provide endless fascination for children of any age.


In Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts for Young Players, Elizabeth Weinstein retains the beauty of Shakespeare s original language and the sheer fun of acting onstage, while substantially shortening and adapting six plays for children ages eight to thirteen.


These forty-minute scripts come with an arsenal of practical suggestions for simple productions. Teachers (and parents) will find ideas for easy back-of-the-closet costume pieces, as well as for sets, props, and music. Historical and literary background is also provided.


Contents:

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Why Perform Classroom Plays?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Macbeth

King Henry IV, Part I

Twelfth Night

Romeo and Juliet

The Tempest

Appendix A. About Shakespeare

Appendix B. Bibliography

Appendix C. Sample Letter Home


Weinstein has created an amazing resource for teachers who want to introduce their own students to the richness and wonder of the Bard. Her beautifully adapted texts are especially well served by the wonderfully useful suggestions for staging and music. Hurray for Shakespeare with Children! –Bruce Coville, Author of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (and other Shakespeare picture books), My Teacher Is an Alien, Song of the Wanderer, and many other books for children.


As a fifth-grade teacher, I am thrilled that I can use this wonderful resource to introduce my students to the beautiful language, marvelous characters, intriguing plots, and fascinating history in Shakespeare’s plays. The adaptations in this well-chosen collection lend themselves beautifully to cross-curricular connections among social studies, reading, language arts, music, and art. It is hard to imagine a better way to hook young students on Shakespeare than by having them read and act in these delightful versions of the Bard’s work. –Elizabeth Ester, North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, Illinois


Ms. Weinstein’s book is a must for every creative elementary classroom. She gives you all the tools you need to build a beautiful production of six different Shakespearean classics including comedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, The Tempest), tragedy (Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet), and history (King Henry IV, Part I). The book provides a detailed blueprint that includes a synopsis and ideas for music, props, backdrops, and costumes, as well as a hard-to-find pronunciation key for each character. A great gift for teachers that will benefit their students forever. –Ronald Bell, Artistic Director, Syracuse


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