Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance

The following is the Web page I posted in the wake of a presentation I made on Wednesday, June 27, 2007, during a workshop for AP teachers in Arkansas. I've "updated" it only a little.

Please note: I neglected to say, much less to emphasize, in my presentation on Wednesday (6/27) that I would be happy to come to your school to do a workshop (preferably at least two hours) if you would like the pedagogy of teaching through performance demonstrated more fully to your colleagues. I need to have at least 10 teachers as participants, though; any fewer and it is hard to get a good sense of the activities. I will come to you, wherever in the state your school is, public, private, or parochial. Just get in touch. My e-mail, again, is RLKnutson@ualr.edu.

Also, check out the information on my Web site about the Shakespeare Scene Festival, and join us in March 2009. One sub-text to the film clip in my demonstration was that your class can have 10 minutes or 30; you all can do Shakespeare "straight" or freshly interpreted; or, you can bring your class/es just to watch (we love to have an audience, and the students are enthusiastic playgoers).

Exercises Demonstrated

The following exercises were demonstrated as part of a presentation for AP Teachers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 27 June 2007:


Please note: I ran out of time before I could do the "Cinna," "Macbeth," and video exercises. If my instructions on these don't make sense, get in touch with me and I'll explain further.


Works Cited in “Off to College: A Starter Library for Shakespeare Studies”
(most are available in paperback on sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Bray, Alan. Homosexuality in Renaissance England. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982, 1995.
Foakes, Reginald A. Henslowe’s Diary. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961, 2002.
Gibson, Rex, series ed. The Cambridge School Shakespeares. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  (This series includes not only plays covered by the SSF vols [e.g., Macbeth] but also those not [e.g., Julius Caesar], but it does not yet have a volume for every play.)
Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.
Hodges, C. Walter. Enter the Whole Army: A Pictorial Study of Shakespearean Staging 1576-1616. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston and New York: Bedford’s/St. Martin’s Press, 2001.
— —. Shakespeare and the Arts of Language. Oxford Shakespeare Topics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
O’ Brien, Peggy, ed. Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Washington Square Press, 1993).  Vol. 2: Ham and 1H4; vol 3: TN and Oth
Shapiro, James P. A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
Vaughan, Virginia. Othello, a Contextual History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.