Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shakespeare in a hurry: teaching and learning ideas from the Globe by Fiona Banks

I've never met a teacher who does not want to teach Shakespeare creatively – to deliver sessions that enliven, challenge and engage.
However I've also never met a teacher who has five weeks of seven hour days (a total of 175 hours) to teach a Shakespeare play. This is the length of time that actors at Shakespeare's Globe (and at many other theatre companies) typically spend in rehearsal.
The issues for teachers are obvious; how to deliver the type of creative Shakespeare desired in the time available. This is an issue likely to become even more perplexing if students are required to study two Shakespeare plays as indicated in the new curriculum documents.
Theatre companies such as the Globe extol the virtues of rehearsal-based approaches to Shakespeare – the need to teach Shakespeare actively, creatively. But how can this work practically in classrooms not designed for rehearsal-type exploration?
At Globe Education, we often adapt rehearsal room approaches to work with students. A great number of these can be done at desks. The sequence that follows, which uses a focus on tactics as a means of analysing character and language, is a typical example.

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