"The best way to learn is to have fun. All you need to do is open the door and the children will step through." - Brendan P. Kelso
This is so true of Playing with Plays. Whether you chose to perform a Shakespeare, Dickens or Robert Louise Stevenson play, your kids will have a blast. These plays are written in a way that the students will learn and laugh all at the same time.
There are three options, for three different group sizes, from 8-22+ actors. Each play lasts 15-20 minutes. The plays are intended for pure fun. Editors Brenden Kelso and Khara Barnhart suggest that you do not have the kids memorize the line verbatim, because “it would be a complete waste of creativity.”
Below is an excerpt from one of the editors, Brenden Kelso, on how Playing with plays began.
I’ve always loved drama, and I am an engineer by training, which, in itself, is an odd combination. But, I started out with this tweaked Hamlet script that I came across and called the class, “Hamlet in a Can”. It was 6 weeks, 1.5 hrs each week and the kids had a BLAST! It was fun, and I thought that was it, till about 3 of them came up and asked, “what play are we doing next?” A bit dumbfounded and taken aback, I thought quickly and replied with, “Midsummer!”
The kids were excited and the classes started that following week, so I went home that weekend and wrote my version of Midsummer. This happened for the next 9 months as I wrote all the plays as I had to direct them, by necessity…
But, in parallel at that first Hamlet performance, a mom came up to see me afterward and said, “I need you to teach this to my homeschool kids up in Atascadero.” Well, that was a bit far away for me and I replied in such a way to get out of doing this, in which she replied, “I’m not asking you…I’m telling you. We will pay you for gas, but you have to do this!” Well, I’m a sucker for kids, so, I started doing two rec centers. And then a third came on within a month or so that was WAY too far away, so I did turn that one down. In the meanwhile, I had 3 different drama groups request to buy my scripts from me so they could perform this with their kids.
At this point, a real job came along. So, I put the Shakespeare for Kids down for a while, until I came across publish on demand. So, I started writing my books and have not stopped since.
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