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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: October ::
Re: Classroom Strategies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1024.  Friday, 10 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Thelma English <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Oct 1997 10:14:52 -0700
        Subj:   MND in the classroom

[2]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 09 Oct 97 20:52:48 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 5 Oct 1997 to 6 Oct 1997

[3]     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Oct 1997 22:45:08 EDT
        Subj:   Classroom Strategies

[4]     From:   Clark Bowlen <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Oct 1997 09:19:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thelma English <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Oct 1997 10:14:52 -0700
Subject:        MND in the classroom

I thought perhaps those who have been discussing classroom strategies
might be interested in our experience.

Our home school, high school group did an all-day mini-seminar for
_Midsummer Night's Dream_ as an introduction to Shakespeare. We began
with a 90 minute lecture on English history (Age of Elizabeth, Caxton's
translations/printing, Renaissance and Reformation, Spanish Armada/rise
in patriotism/history plays/Hollinshed, etc.), Shakespeare biography,
and Shakespearean language (unusual sentence structure, omission, word
play, vocabulary, inversion of subject and verb to create rhythm, etc.).
After a 15 minute break, we had another 90 minute lecture on Elizabethan
drama, history of drama, staging techniques, etc.. Next, students
experienced an English Tea, complete with instructions (huge success,
semi-formal attire had been required). Moving on, we gave a synopsis of
MND (paraphrased story + lines from the play), and a hand-out of
characters (also plots, sub-plots, and notes). The last 3 hours were
spent reading through the entire play after students chose parts (or had
parts assigned to them). Some proved to be excellent 'raw' readers, all
were encouraged regardless of their ability. The students (and some
parents), most new to Shakespeare, enjoyed the day immensely.

For a cost of $20 per person, we are providing the all-day mini-seminar,
two play tickets for MND(one children's theater production, one
professional), two Dessert/Discussion nights (one after each play),and a
Dover edition of the play (though I prefer Folger, we were cutting
corners to keep the cost down). I do not know why this same experience
could not be duplicated in a public/private school situation.

Thelma English

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Thursday, 09 Oct 97 20:52:48 EDT
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 5 Oct 1997 to 6 Oct 1997

Classroom Strategies:  May I suggest the Cambridge School Shakespeare
editions as sources for a wild bounty of strategies, tactics, common
sense and uncommon illustrations?

About a year ago I received a batch of examination copies from the
Cambridge University Press, 110 Midland Avenue, Port Chester NY 10573
phone 914 937-9600 (the return address on the shipping invoice  --
Likely a better address and phone can be found).

They're a delight.  Cost for each volume is only about $6-8, as I
recall.  The texts are designed for classrooms, but for folk who are
locked into already-purchased sets or collections, one copy for the
instructor can be fine, I imagine.

Ever,
Steve Bibliopedagogowitz

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[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Oct 1997 22:45:08 EDT
Subject:        Classroom Strategies

Karen Krebser writes:

"But the POETRY, man, the POETRY!!! Often that level of Shakespeare's
plays is lost on the stage (depending upon the production), and is best
appreciated by a reading of the play FIRST."

I'm afraid I have to side with Peter Hillyar-Russ on this one.  They are
not poetry, they are scripts.  "Venus and Adonis" is poetry.  The
writing (which certainly is poetic) is merely the most magnificent tool
an actor ever gets to use.

And use it students must, or they will never get to the appreciation.
Teach them how to play with the sounds of the words, show them how to
juggle the syntax, give them the chance to gnash their way through one
of Kate's vituperations, or Edward's taunt to Warwick, and they're yours
(and Shakespeare's) forever.

If anyone on this list is in the neighborhood, e-mail me and I'll
reserve free tickets to our production of Midsummer (Oct. 24, 25, 31,
Nov. 1), and you can see what community players, several unbreathed in
their minds till now, can accomplish, and it was not accomplished by
learning to love the poetry first.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company
Newnan, GA

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clark Bowlen <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Oct 1997 09:19:07 -0500
Subject: 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies

But wasn't the poetry written for actors to play rather than for readers
to read?

Clark Bowlen
 

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