SIR’s commitment to bringing Shakespeare’s words to the widest possible audience goes beyond their obvious artistic value. We have established educational programs which operate from a simple theory: if we can help a person to achieve something they never thought possible (understanding, enjoying, and even performing Shakespeare), it may help them find the confidence to accomplish any number of things in their lives. At the very least, students will certainly have become better equipped for the study of Shakespeare which is so prevalent in western education.
An extensive study guide is prepared for each of our Main Stage and Stripped-Down productions: replete with a synopsis, cast of characters, exercises, and links to supplementary resource materials, these study guides are distributed to the teachers as a tool for preparing their students and increasing their comprehension, which in turn maximizes their enjoyment.
Every student performance is prefaced with an informal pre-show chat between student audiences and a member of the cast, and finishes with a post-show question and answer session between the students and the entire company.
The pre-show component is designed to prepare the students for what they are about to see (including a basic plot synopsis, conceptual choices, etc.), and as a means of establishing a relationship with them in advance: welcoming them into our world and hopefully taking a few bricks out of the wall of defense to which young people are so often predisposed.
The post-show Q & A is meant as a forum for the audience to talk about their thoughts and impressions of the show, reveal a few tricks of the trade, and hopefully instigate further discussion once they’ve returned to their classrooms.
Shakespeare in Action
Shakespeare in Action, in its current format, is a one hour workshop designed to give participants the chance to participate in basic techniques and exercises used by a professional actor when tackling a scene from Shakespeare: thereby demystifying the language, and offering them the visceral thrill of power and discovery that comes with harnessing Shakespeare’s language to a dramatic action.
Class size: 35 students
Duration: 1 hour
Call the Shakespeare in the Ruins office for more details