Shakespeare is the most fun when it’s a family affair.
If you are fortunate enough to have a child interested in Shakespeare, we applaud you for supporting his or her newfound passion.
We have attempted with this site to provide some new opportunities for children to investigate Shakespeare via the Internet. We all know how much most children love to tinker on the computer. Our hope for this site is that we can inspire a loop of sorts: some spark of interest in Shakespeare will lead them to this site; our site will lead them to get up on their feet and explore Shakespeare’s words the way they were meant to be explored – through performance; and then they will write us to tell us about what they have learned so far in their adventure.
A few quick notes on our two largest sections:
Our “Do Your Own Shakespeare” pages allow students to imagine that they are playing one of six roles in the opening scenes in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” We have provided them with a text, and with questions and suggestions to ponder as they prepare to perform a role.
Our “Teachers” section is packed with tips and ideas for K-8 teachers. You might want to browse this section – it includes a sampling of some of the exercises and activities we use with young students in our Outreach projects.
What we offer here through “Shakespeare Kids” is obviously just the tip of the iceberg in terms of opportunities for study, investigation, and performance. We hope to continue to expand this site in the coming years, and to find ways to present online a sampling of student writing and artwork related to Shakespeare.
You can view this site, then, as a partial trail map of sorts. We hope to inspire children to head on down the trail, then to blaze a few of their own.
You are instrumental in this exploration. For one, you have the keys to the car! Which means you can take your child to local performances of Shakespeare, or to thrift shops to look for oddball costume pieces, or to the used bookstore to search for interesting books on Shakespearean performance. Perhaps you can even organize a family expedition to a far-flung Shakespeare festival, or to Winedale in the summer for the plays.
More importantly, you can be another member of the “Family Players” at home. Get two copies of any text your child wants to read, so you two can read it together, swapping off roles. Enlist friends and neighbors to create a little neighborhood Shakespeare festival.
And you will be the one who will provide the crucial ingredient: patience. If your child has been assigned a role in a Shakespeare play, you will be hearing those lines over… and over… and over… and over… again… until you could perform them yourself in your sleep!
Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions, suggestions, anything – our program is here for the people of Texas, and all our neighbors in every direction. Our job is to inspire young people to fall in love with Shakespeare, and we will do that in any way we can, anywhere we can.
On the right column you will see a few headings of areas on this site which might be of interest to you. Perhaps you are the parent of a child doing Shakespeare through school; or you are a homeschooling mom or dad; or you love Shakespeare and are looking for ways to get your child interested. These sections might offer some useful ideas. They are all located in other sections of “Shakespeare Kids” as well.
Best of luck to you in all your Shakespearean journeys!