|A scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 2009|
I have made it no secret that I adore teaching students about Shakespeare and his works.
I love it so much, that I have written a program for teaching students, AND a guide for others to direct Shakespeare plays. I call it "Youth Experiencing Shakespeare" (Y.E.S.) and am excited to share all about it here on my blog!
I have a mentor and student manual that come together with four play study guides in a Teaching Kit:
* The Mentor Manual: The YES Mentor Manual has over 100 pages of detailed, one semester (12 weeks) long lesson plans for parents or teachers seeking to teach students all about Shakespeare and his works. Each week's lesson is mapped out for the instructor, with lectures, activities, games, and supplemental resources included.
* The Student Manual: The Student Manual are also included, and can be copied for each student being taught in each classroom or home. (The Play Study Guides can be copied for all students being taught in your class or home and should be added to the Student Manuals.)
* Play Study Guides: The Play Study Guides are for the specific play you and your students wish to study that semester. Each one includes reading and writing assignments for each week, as well as a soliloquy to memorize as part of the student's Ascension Qualifications. We currently offer "Hamlet", "Julius Caesar", "Romeo and Juliet", and "Macbeth." (The Play Study Guides can be copied for all students being taught in your class or home and should be added to the Student Manuals.)
I have been performing onstage since I was the tender age of eight. I love it so much! I majored in Theatre Arts in college, have directed several productions, and even served on the board of a community youth arts program. (You can read more about my theatre experience here.)
In effort to encourage more amateur productions of Shakespeare and other plays, I put all my theatre experience into a Director's Guide for beginning directors and producers. The 70 page YES Director's Guide is a great resource that contains everything you will need to direct a Shakespeare (or other!) play.
It is also a great Drama Curriculum (3 pages of warm-up exercises and 12 weeks of two-hour weekly lessons) for your home, classroom, or community.
Here's a peek into the Director's Guide's Table of Contents:
- Committee Volunteer Job Descriptions: Includes Sign Up Spreadsheet
- Checklists: Includes Nine Printable Handouts
- Production Committee Meetings FAQ
CHAPTER II: Auditions and Casting
- What to Expect: Auditions and Casting
- The Audition Committee FAQ: Includes Audition Sheets and Additional Audition Forms (Printable Handouts)
CHAPTER III: Beginner's Acting Lessons
- Basic Drama Terms
- Acting Games
- Weekly Lessons: (Week 1) Audition Training; (Week 2) Auditions; (Week 3) Stage Directions; (Week 4) Physicality; (Week 5) Vocalization; (Week 6) Emotions and Confidence; (Week 7) Characterization; (Week 8) Imagination; (Week 9) Relationships; (Week 10) Motivation
CHAPTER IV: Before Rehearsals Start
- Reading the Script
- Creating a Rehearsal Schedule: Example Spreadsheet
- Production Contracts: What Are They? And Why I Use Them: Production Contract (Printable Handout)
CHAPTER V: Rehearsals
- The First Rehearsal: The Read-Through
- The Art of Directing
- Blocking the Show: Staging Basics: Stage Directions Reminder Page
- Dress Rehearsals
- Technical Rehearsals
- The Power of Rest: Taking a Break before opening night
CHAPTER VI.: Technical Theatre
- Costumes: Costume Handout Example
- Setting the Stage: Stage Sets for Shakespeare Productions
- Properties: Finding, Making, Borrowing
- Lights, Sound, Action!
CHAPTER VII.: Performances
- What to expect
- Sample Schedule: What to do WHEN during showtime
CHAPTER VIII.: After the Show
- Closing the Show
- The End: Gifts, Thank-Yous, Cast Party, Future Productions
There are several handouts included that are free to be copied and distributed to your cast members and production crew for their use during the show. (These pages are clearly marked.)
There is nothing like this Director's Guide for being able to produce a play without previous experience!