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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: November ::
Shakespeare for children?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0551  Tuesday, 3 November 2009

[1] From:   Skip Nicholson <
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     Date:   Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 19:11:05 -0700
     Subj:   RE: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

[2] From:   Clara Giebel <
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     Date:   Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 23:12:22 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

[3] From:   Steve Roth <
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     Date:   Friday, 30 Oct 2009 09:06:52 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

[4] From:   Mike Shapiro <
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     Date:   Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 21:13:24 -0700
     Subj:   RE: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

[5] From:   Ida Gaskin <
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     Date:   Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 11:33:20 +1300
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

[6] From:   Virginia Byrne <
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     Date:   Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 08:31:34 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Skip Nicholson <
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Date:       Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 19:11:05 -0700
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

 >I have a friend who would like to introduce her 8-year-old to Shakespeare
 >and is seeking advice on filmed versions of the plays that might be
 >appropriate. Any suggestions?

"Shakespeare: The Animated Tales"  --  First-rate stuff. Each play runs 
about 25 minutes. Here's the description from Amazon:

Winner of 3 Emmy Awards these exceptional animated stories have been 
designed to introduce children and young adults to some Shakespeare's 
most popular works. Each play has been animated in its own unique style 
by the exceptional talents of the leading directors of Russia's 
Christmas Films. Actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and stars of 
stage and screen, including Antony Sher, Joss Ackland and Jenny Agutter, 
provide voices for the characters which were recorded and produced by 
BBC Wales. In Russia, art and animation has long been used as a veiled 
form of satire, education and political protest. This has inspired 
scores of Russian animators to develop fascinating and highly individual 
techniques, a prolific kaleidoscope of styles from which the animation 
artists were chosen for these stories of Shakespeare-The Animated Tales.

Giftbox Contains 12 Animated Plays on 4 DVD's: The Tempest, A Midsummer 
Night's Dream, As You Like It, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Romeo 
& Juliet, Othello, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew and 
Twelfth Night.

Cheers,
Skip

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Clara Giebel <
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Date:       Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 23:12:22 -0400
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

While it might be hard to point to individual Shakespeare films 
particularly suited to children, there is a wealth of children's 
literature written connected with Shakespeare, including many retellings 
of the plays. Here is a selection of some particularly excellent books.

Picture books:

Aliki. _William Shakespeare and the Globe_. New York: Harper Collins 
Publishers, 1999.

Coville, Bruce. _William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream_. 
Illus. Dennis Nolan. New York: Dial Publishing, 1996. (Coville has 
written many retellings of Shakespeare's plays and they are all wonderful.)

Rosen, Michael. _Shakespeare: His Work & His World_. Illus. Robert 
Ingpen. Cambridge MA: Candelwick Press, 2001.

Rosen, Michael. _Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet_. Illus. Jane Ray. 
Cambridge MA: Candlewick Press, 2004.

Williams, Marica. _Bravo Mr. William Shakespeare!_ (also known as _More 
Tales From Shakespeare_) Cambridge MA: Candlewick Press, 2000.


Collections:

Garfield, Leon. _Shakespeare Stories_. Illus. Michael Foreman. New York: 
Houghton Mifflin Co, 1998.

Packer, Tina. _Tales from Shakespeare_. Illus. Jon J Muth, et al. New 
York: Scholastic Press, 2004.


Chapter books:

Blackwood, Gary L.. _The Shakespeare Stealer_. New York: Penguin Young 
Readers Group, 1998.(this one is the first in a trilogy of historical 
fiction surrounding Shakespeare)

Cooper, Susan. _King of Shadows_. New York: Simeon and Schuster 
Children's Publishing Division, 1999.

Schmidt, Gary D. _The Wednesday Wars_. New York: Clarion Books, 2007.

Enjoy,
Clara Giebel

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Steve Roth <
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Date:       Friday, 30 Oct 2009 09:06:52 -0700
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

Brannagh's Much Ado and Pfeiffer's MSND were regular favorites for my 
kids  --  the production values go a long way toward engaging them. They 
also loved the Burton/Taylor Shrew, with all its physical comedy.

I can't resist recounting my children's necessary introduction to basic 
concepts of the birds 'n the bees (ages four and five) in preparation 
for Shakespeare. This came about when I got home from work one day and 
my wife said, "Hey Steve, we're taking the girls to Measure for Measure 
in the park tonight. Tell them the plot!" (Sputter.)

They loved it, btw  --  the eldest insisted on going to a repeat 
performance the next day, and the actress playing Isabella ended up 
being a long-time babysitter for us.

I remember asking one daughter during a play, "Do you know what's going 
on?" "Not really," she said. But in the car on the way home they knew 
(and discussed) every character and all the details of who did what to 
whom and when. Kids  --  especially girls, I imagine  --  are sponges 
for OPR (other people's relationships).

Key trick for kids and Shakespeare: put 'em in the *front row.*

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mike Shapiro <
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Date:       Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 21:13:24 -0700
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

"The Tempest" could be interesting for an 8 year old. However, I would 
be reluctant to expose the child to a filmed version without some 
creative preparation.

If a female child, she could play Miranda to her father's Prospero. A 
male child could play Ariel to his father's Prospero. I suggest Dad 
provide the child with a delightful costume and find a couple of props 
for himself. The script should be acutely modified so that the child 
feels they understand the action and is an effective participant in 
acting out revised germane scenes. Spoon feed the story in this way 
until the child is familiar with the plot, some old English and the 
principal characters. The child might be better prepared to view the 
film at that point or perhaps eager to view a staged version after being 
schooled in such a manner.

Mike Shapiro

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Ida Gaskin <
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Date:       Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 11:33:20 +1300
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

My grandchildren have enjoyed the "Animated Tales' (BBC and Moscow Arts 
Theatre) as a starting point available on DVD, and followed up by the 
BBC "Midsummer Night's Dream" and Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet". Their 
parents profited too!

Ida Gaskin.

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Virginia Byrne <
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Date:       Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 08:31:34 -0400
Subject: 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0544 Shakespeare for children?

How about Kevin Kline's "  A Midsummer's Night's Dream" or that 
wonderful animated series . . . the name of which escapes me now and I 
am not in my office.....

  Virginia Byrne

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