Last week, Olena Hodges from Island Shakespeare Festival came to Whidbey Children's Theater to teach a week-long block on Shakespeare to our Langley Middle School 7th Graders!

Each quarter, WCT offers a flex period class to the Langley Middle Schoolers. In past, we have focused primarily on one topic throughout the quarter. Now, we are approaching these classes as a way to introduce youth to many different aspects of theater. Monologue work, costume and character design, set design, stage combat and more! 

Here are some photos from ISF's block on Shakespeare, and a few words from Olena, herself.

The thing about Shakespeare is that the words are meant to be experienced aurally, physically, emotionally, rather than simply read out loud. These students have yet to read Shakespeare in English class. So, I wanted to get them on their feet with the words.

We started the week discussing Shakespeare, what they know about Shakespeare, what sort of writer Shakespeare was, and what it might be that makes his works stand the test of time, even 400 years later. 

From there, we jumped into a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream. We talked a bit about scansion and poetry, and how to use the language to communicate a character's needs. Then, I asked them to physicalize their character's need by putting into their bodies what the words say. How does your body move when you tell someone to go away? What about when you're trying to get someone to love you? 

By the end of the week, they blended the speaking of the words with some of the physicalization they had come up with, and presented some pretty astounding work!

Visit our EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH page for more information on the inception of our LMS Flex Classes.