Understanding shakespeare workshop

(14 – 18 yrs) all year

An actors’ approach to Shakespeare’s text

WORKSHOP BY ALEX BAGGETT

“There is nothing either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so.”

― William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

 

It is a little-known fact that William Shakespeare never published his plays in books. His plays were written on a series of scrolls for the actors. This means that Shakespeare never intended for people to read his plays. Rather, the words that Shakespeare wrote were meant to be spoken and heard.

STET Education is proud to work with Alex Baggett (a young actor from Colorado, USA), who is passionate about making Shakespeare understandable, accessible and therefore fun for everybody.
He hopes to “demystify” the language of Shakespeare and show why so many actors love performing Shakespeare to this day. Alex will create a safe, encouraging environment where students will feel supported enough to step outside of their comfort zones.

Information

COST €320/1 hour workshop – negotiable, discounts for more than one hour workshop
DATE April 2018 – July 2019
RUNNING TIME 1 hour (no interval), 3 hours (one workshop a week)
VENUE your school or a location you provide
AGE RANGE 14-18 years
AUDIENCE MEMBERS max 1 class / session
LANGUAGE English (Alex Baggett is from the USA)
REQUEST A SPECIFIC WORK Are you working on a particular sonnet or play with your class? This workshop can be tailor-made to your requirements. If you plan on studying a specific play, we will fit the programme around that text. The activity plan is also tailored to age groups.

Meet your workshop leader

Alex Baggett is a professional actor from Denver, Colorado.
He studied acting at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and got his degree in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago. He perfomed outdoor Shakespeare with Citadel Theatre company.
He was a founding company member of Fearless Theatre Company. Before leaving Chicago, Alex was a company member with the Public House Theatre company.
Alex worked as a teaching artist at the Denver Center Theatre Academy for five summers.
Alex now lives in Amsterdam and is an ensemble member of Amsterdam’s Orange Theatre company.
He is delighted to be actively involved in the theatre community in the Netherlands..

Workshop plan – Introductory (1 hour)

If you want to jumpstart or enhance your class’s study of Shakespeare in a fun and interactive way, then this is the ideal workshop for you.
In one hour students will be shown tools that actors use when approaching Shakespeare’s challenging sonnets. They will learn about the basic aspects of Shakespeare’s writing style and how iambic pentameter not only shapes the text but also helps the actors to understand and deliver the meaning. Students will engage their minds, as well as their bodies and voices to perform sonnets in front of their peers.

GOAL: To give students some tools to use during future exploration of Shakespeare’s works.

Workshop Plan – in depth (3 hours)

This workshop length is ideal for creative and interactive work, with time to dive into memorizing and performing short pieces of text. The best set-up is to have one class a week over a three week period. This allows the students time to apply what they learned in the first session to their chosen sonnet and use these new skills in a perfomrance. This is the ideal way to round out the basics of understanding Shakespeare and apply it in a fun and interactive way.

Session 1
Day one will remain largely the same as the one-day class session, except at the end each student will be assigned his or her own sonnet to memorize and perform the following week.
“Be creative. Think outside the box!”

Session 2 (ideally a week later)
Students perform their sonnets for the class and receive feedback from the teacher and classmates. After a brief group activity, students will form small groups and receive scenes (or sonnets) to perform the following week. The remainder of the class time will be spent organizing the scenes, casting, blocking, etc. The teacher(s) will be there to guide and support each of the groups.

Session 3 (ideally a week later)
The final day will consist of a warmup activity and the students’ final performances. After all the groups have performed, we will go over what the have learned; what still is difficult to understand; and how students can explore Shakespeare’s texts even further.

GOAL: The goal of the three-day workshop is to give students the same tools that actors use to understand, and perform Shakespeare’s works as well as empower them to explore Shakespeare with confidence and affection.

Booking and information

E: education@theenglishtheatre.nl
T: +31 6 44168483

Download the PDF about this workshop