“SHATNER!” Drama Improv Game

Shatner over reacting

Ok, this is a REALLY FUN improv drama game that your kids will LOVE! It’s called, SHATNER! (At least the adults of the kids will surely¬†love it!) ūüôā (I did not think of this game, and due credit goes to where I heard of it from; the Facebook group, Homeschool Snark.)

We all know Captain Kirk from the old Star Trek movies.¬† And many of us theatre geeks have done his voice and pretended to be him at one time or another.¬† Well, this game will allow us to relive those fun moments, AND carry on the tradition of the old Star Trek shows as well as our favorite actor from the series, William Shatner. We all remember his overly dramatic voice, it’s what made him uniquely¬†famous.

Well, the game is called, SHATNER! And it’s pretty simple to play:

Shatner shockedThe kids are just doing their normal day-to-day things in drama class and then someone yells, “SHATNER!” and the kids have to melodramatically overact whatever they are currently doing.¬† HILARIOUS!

Let us hear what you think!

“SHATNER!” Drama Improv Game was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

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EMPATHY ‚Äď Part 8 of Why Drama is so Important in School

Part 8 of the 12 part series:¬†Why Drama is so important in School.¬†‚ÄstEMPATHY EMPATHY defined: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is something that we as parents and educators try to instill in our kids from a very early age. Understanding what another person is going through or feeling can…

EMPATHY ‚Äď Part 8 of Why Drama is so Important in School was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Create a Performance Playbill

This is a short post about an activity you can do with your kids as you get ready for the show.  As many of us directors know, there are an endless number of things you can do to prepare for the performance.  IN NO WAY, am I suggesting that you need to do a lot of things to have a successful performance.  ( I typically do very few and the kids still have a blast!) However, in many cases, there are extra things that you and/or your kids will want to do. 

One of those fun and creative things is to create a brochure for the show.¬† Some people call this a playbill. And one such homeschool mom created a wonderful playbill for her parents during their performance of our version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kids. As you can see from the photo, they did a wonderful job!

This is a great homework or extracurricular activity for the kids.¬† Someone can figure out how to lay this out on the computer, other’s get to draw for cover and back cover, and others get to print and assemble them together. It’s another hands-on learning experience.

Well, if you do this for your next play, please, let us know and send some photos!

Create a Performance Playbill was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Creative Performance Ideas

This is a quick post about a couple ideas that are awesome, and all credit goes to an amazing homeschool mom, Amy.

Recently Amy directed her small homeschool co-op in one of our plays, The Tempest for Kids. In doing so, she decided to perform it in their backyard, inspired by our own Backyard Shakespeare. That being said, she quickly renamed it, BackBARD Shakespeare… clever!¬† But, her ideas did not stop there, no.¬† Her kids and she came up with a couple other brilliant ideas that I think many of you directors of creative drama students could use.

First, the kids did a commercial halfway through the show. How awesome is that?¬† Part of their homework was to create a “Shakespearean” commercial, and plan, write, block, and direct it.¬† Brilliant for kids who either have smaller roles or need a bit more to keep them occupied and challenged.

Second. Create an epilogue. Now, some of Shakespeare’s plays already have an epilogue, but many do not. With The Tempest, there was none and the kids were very curious about what was going to happen when (spoiler alert) the gang got off the island and Miranda and Ferdinand got married!¬† So, again, the kids wrote and directed their own piece and it turns out that they had a baby! (cut to one of the small homeschool siblings¬†now coming on stage as their “son”)

Too cute and a classic great use of education!¬† Bravo! Well done Amy!¬† I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next show!

Creative Performance Ideas was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Memes and Shakespeare – Class Project

First of all, this was not my idea! But, it’s a brilliant way to engage your kids with Shakespeare, especially high schoolers! All credit goes to Larry Reiff (@Mrreiff) – as he says, “All the world’s an e-stage”! Love it!

Now, onto the great idea… Shakespeare analyzed¬†via memes.¬† I know this is not traditional, but hey, we are about engaging our kids with the wonderful language and stories of Shakespeare any way possible, and this is PERFECT!

So simply, he has the kids analyze¬†a scene and then find photos and memes that go with specific phrases.¬† See examples below. Larry’s class uses: imgflip to generate his memes and photos… Other teachers use Canva to create cards around phrases – with images – both are engaging and fun ideas.

Have fun with these, and be sure to share more ideas so we all can have kids that are better Bard lovers!

shakespeare memeshakespeare meme

 

Memes and Shakespeare – Class Project was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Did Doctor Who write Shakespeare?

I know that question is a bit ridiculous. This is more about an episode of Doctor Who I watched where Shakespeare was the focal point of their adventure. It was quite cleverly written and I found it very interesting. The premise of the story was around Shakespeare’s missing play, Loves Labors Won, and the story behind it.

Now, there is no truth to know if this play ever existed or not, just many theories, and why not throw some aliens with the Doctor into the mix as well!

What I liked about the writing was the timing of the lines in comparison to the timeline of Shakespeare’s actual plays. This episode was based in roughly 1599.¬† There was a reference¬†to “to be or not to be” or “all the world’s a stage” or several other lines. Many times Shakespeare would say, “Hey, that’s good. I’m going to¬†use that” Even once, Doctor Who said, “Into the breach!” in which Shakespeare retorted, “Oh, I like that too… wait, I did write that…”¬† And of course, 3 witches are our primary antagonists… so, the seeds of Macbeth were started there too.

It’s season 3 episode 2 – The Shakespeare Code, One of David Tennant’s¬†seasons.¬† If you have kids into Doctor Who, this might just get them into Shakespeare as well! They even open the show with a little homage to Romeo & Juliet… of course, it turns quite dark after that, But still, Shakespeare references are littered throughout this fun episode of Doctor Who!

Did Doctor Who write Shakespeare? was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Environment is King for Drama

I was talking with a mom earlier this morning, and she said something very interesting. She said that her daughter loves my drama classes, and talks about me frequently when it comes to drama. Although I’m glad I inspire the kids, it’s not the point of this story. What is interesting is she followed up…

Environment is King for Drama was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books