Wednesday, 11 March 2009

R&J, not SAT

For the second year running, the Bradon Forest theatre are supporting the English department with the provision of Shakespeare workshops and performances. Despite the SATS being cancelled, the workshops are going ahead in the interest of student learning. Leanne Thompson, a member of the English staff, says;

"We have decided to run the workshops as we feel it is important that the students get an all round experience of Shakespeare - and this workshop approach helps the students to understand Shakespeare's theatricality. Shakespeare is vital to the English curriculum whether part of the SAT exams or not."
Dominic Waldron, the theatre's in-house professional actor, will be leading the workshops alongside Jack Baverstock from Swindon Young Actors. They will also have the assistance from a few of the Key Stage 4 Drama students. In each of the ten scheduled workshops, each with a different class, they will look at Act 3, Scene 1 using two main exercises. Firstly, the students will be asked to look at the key sentences of the scene and decide how each of them should be spoken. The second task will enable to students to direct themselves, giving them a sense of themes and emotional states throughout the scene. The workshop will not only increase learning through participation, but will also develop empathy and understanding of the characters, and consequently, the text.
Dominic says; "I want the students to realise that Shakespeare isn't about big words and sitting behind a desk. It's about passion, comedy and excitement."
The workshops will also be supported by two lunchtime performances of the scene, again by Dominic, Jack and the students, to give the English students an opportunity to see the characters in action. This project is supported by our Specialist Status.

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