Studying Shakespeare with Above and Beyond has a myriad of benefits:
Students read, analyze, discuss and write about several works of Shakespeare including: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar. We dissect pronunciation, meaning, and influence on the English language today.
Students learn about posture, enunciation, and build confidence playing drama games.
Students self-select roles they are interested in playing, and are individually cast for parts in a show for peers and parents about five weeks later.
The rehearsal process helps students dig deeper into character motivation, plot, language mastery and appreciation until they perform the finished piece.
Shakespeare’s writing was clearly designed for the stage and his performance forms include high comedy, grand tragedy, romance, history and metaphysical speculation. Above all Shakespeare’s works capture the spirit and complexity of the human condition.
Standardized testing and high school placement exams have questions analyzing and referencing Shakespeare’s works. This helps students feel comfortable and ready for that.
Performing a Shakespeare play also builds class unity. Students learn to rely on one another and learn that they themselves need to be reliable, and that others are relying on them. Acting also takes students out of their small circle of friends and forces them to connect with and cooperate with all members of their class. The final performance brings a magical sense of unity, happiness and lightness. The simple fact of compulsory cooperative action s brings about these qualities.