Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts For Young Players

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9781575255736: Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts For Young Players

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

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

ELIZABETH WEINSTEIN lives in Central New York with her husband and two children. She has a B.A. in English from Carleton College and a Masters in English (Writing Emphasis) from the University of Minnesota. She writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, advertising copy, and scores of letters. She has personally tested these scripts with teachers and students in her local elementary school.

Review:

In Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts for Young Players, Elizabeth Weinstein has adapted and abridged a half-dozen plays for actors aged 8-13. Each piece can be performed in about 40 minutes and, despite major cuts, all retain the heart of their stories as well as Shakespeare's poetic language. ----Stage Directions

It's never too early to introduce children to the greatness that is Shakespeare's theatre. Shakespeare with Children is a must for any drama teacher looking to impart something special. ----Midwest

Without removing important plot elements, she (Weinstein) successfully combines short narrative pieces with heavily edited but genuine Shakespearean language. Most impressive is her adroit cutting of Macbeth, which stays true to the gore of the original. Also remarkable is Weinstein's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which she manages to execute all four of the play's plots without it feeling rushed. ----Backstage

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