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
Over the years, I have taught EVERY single one of our plays, most of them multiple times, and some of them at least 20 times…. (Hamlet, Midsummer, R&J, Caesar, Macbeth…). But, one of the best tools for me to use is the Character Line Quantities spreadsheet to help me with casting.
A teacher asked me recently, “why don’t you share that?” Which I gladly did. But it hit me, why don’t I share this with EVERYONE?
There’s nothing like casting a play. Trying to figure out dynamics of who can synergize with who; what characters will pull the most out of which kids; more seasoned kids get more lines; a kid’s last show of their school career – do they get the lead? Did I give too many lines to a novice actor?
That last question sometimes worries me… as some parts may seem small (Friar Lawrence in R&J) Yet are one of the bigger parts. (2nd most lines in that play) And, in many of our plays, many actors get 2 or even 3 parts to play. (Did I give too many lines with multiple parts?)
So, a while back, I created and Character Line Quantities sheet that helps me cast my shows. Well, the main reason I never shared it is that it’s just a simple spreadsheet and not fancy, and NOT completely filled out. Well, that’s not a good reason. So, see the link here to have access to it. And if you have any questions, let me know!
Each play has its own tab on the bottom. If you don’t see a play, scroll to the left and right.
Download the Character Line Quantities sheet
Character Line Quantities for Playing With Play Books was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books