The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1463 Wednesday, 29 May 2002
Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2002 22:18:11 -0700
Subject: Newspaper Articles on Shakespeare
First, the New York Times. On May 24 they sent me a link to a personal
essay by Jan Benzel, "In the Green Lap of Spring." Central Park, she
says, is a world unto itself within NYC, and the four-acre Shakespeare
Garden a world apart from that.
A few days prior to that was a lengthy, and favorable, review of the
Frederic Ashton ballet, "The Dream," a one-act adaptation of guess what
from the title: "A Donkey in Toe Shoes and Fairies All A-Flutter." Two
casts, the Mendelsohn incidental music. Balanchine's "Dream" ballet
will be danced at the end of June, and the reviewer Anna Kisselgoff
invites us to compare performances (don't I wish!):
In the Christian Science Monitor of 5/28 staffer Marjorie Coeyman
discusses teaching Shakespeare to middle and high school students. The
classrooms noted are in low-cost private schools in New Jersey, but are
also in some degree deal with disadvantaged or at-risk kids. The keys is
performance, of "having kids learn Shakespeare by standing up and
feeling his words in their mouths.
Not only the staples were taught--JC, R&J--but also Titus Andronicus,
and Coriolanus, with detail given to successfully working with
7th-graders on "Othello."
It would be all too easy to say, "take that, Sam Small, and all other
naysayers who think Shakespeare too hard, too old, too mature, too
irrelevant for under 30 or even under 20. However, rather than rehash
all the Sam-bashing we've had here recently, I would fain (let's revive
that word: it's so useful) point out that the no-Shakes-for-kids
argument seems to assume that to appreciate Shakespeare you must
understand it all at once. But these mirrors can be held up to Nature
many times, and while the image will change each time, each time it
will be full and complete as of that moment. Let's not make the
experience, the fascination, the enjoyment of teaching and learning
Shakespeare's great stories and great words a situation of 'jam tomorrow
and jam yesterday but never jam today.'
The CSM link: "In love with Shakespeare"
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