Let our workshops help you instill excitement in your students to study Shakespeare and gain some CEUs in the process.
As much as there will be academic material to educate the students the main focus of these workshops is to help the teachers enjoy the process of sharing the extraordinary literary, dramatic, and theatrical world of Shakespeare.
Unless the English teachers had a personal passion for Shakespeare and indulged themselves in their undergraduate and graduate studies of appreciating and offering an impassioned introduction to Shakespeare, we dare say a few teachers may have some, if not much, trepidation to teach specifically the work of Shakespeare.
May we help put to rest such fear and ignite a fierce, wide-eyed joy of using language so powerfully that it will be palpable to you and to your students. Over the years, Gary Meitrott has experienced working with numerous age groups performing Shakespeare and, in all venues, there has not failed to be a shift in the individual’s sense of self after working with Shakespeare’s plays. In two very different situations -- working with a junior company of high school students and in a maxim security correctional facility directing inmates to perform Shakespeare -- Gary found that with a personal understanding of what they were saying using such language a visual shift in the emotional sense of self was noticeable. This is the most important direction that this workshop is focused toward:
Empowering the individual to a greater sense of self worth, self-confidence, and self- reliance
This workshop, for junior and senior high school English and Drama teachers, will help you instill an excitement in your students to study Shakespeare.
#5 Brain work. If students can successfully read and understand Shakespeare, they can handle almost anything else. Why should we dumb down our high school students with children’s literature—no matter how well written? Let’s sharpen their brains with literature that will challenge them.
“I have good reason to be content, for thank God I can read and perhaps understand Shakespeare to his depths.” ~John Keats~
#4 Word, words, words. Scholars estimate that Shakespeare invented 1700 of our common words. He changed nouns into verbs, changed verbs into adjectives, connected words never before used together, added prefixes and suffixes, and devised completely new words. He also coined expressions that have been used so much they are now considered clichés.
“He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul.” ~John Dryden~
#3 Complex characters. Shakespeare showed a thorough understanding of human nature with the characters he created. His heroes express the fears and desires of every thoughtful man. His bold heroines give the likes of Katniss Everdeen a run for her money. We learn more about ourselves from the personalities that people his plays.
“With this same key Shakespeare unlocked his heart’ once more!” ~Robert Browning~
#2 Rich dense language. Few other writers match the beauty of Shakespeare’s language or the depth of the truths he expressed. His soliloquies and monologues, even the speeches crafted for comic relief, are some of the most eloquent every written. His command of language provokes our imaginations and inspires our own written expressions.
“The souls most fed with Shakespeare’s flame still sat unconquered in a ring, remembering him like anything.” ~G. K. Chesterton~
#1 Universal appeal. Shakespeare’s themes still resonate today. His plays delve into the issues of love, loss, treachery, honor, tenderness, anger, despair, jealousy, contempt, fear, courage, and wonder. They raise questions of morality, politics, war, wealth, and death. By exploring what’s dearest to our hearts and most important to our souls, Shakespeare helps us better appreciate life.
“There Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb the crowns o’ the world; oh, eyes sublime with tears and laughter for all time!” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning~
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