Why Shakespeare Tragedies are funnier than Comedies

Tragedies simplified

Ok, this is a short little post about a great little document that I found. Full credit to Cam Magee, and he summarizes this best: Everybody dies.  And THAT is why tragedies are funnier than comedies, when performed by kids melodramatically!  From the data I have collected (watching kids perform) ALL kids LOVE to die on stage! Especially, if it’s melodramatic… if they can get a laugh from the audience, the kids are all into it.  That’s part of the secret of my books, they’re fun to perform! Nothing like the end of Hamlet where there are several dead bodies … Continue reading

STAGEiT! Shakespeare – Grades 5-8 – Book Review

STAGEiT Shakespeare

This is a book review of STAGEiT! Shakespeare.  The author of STAGEiT! Shakespeare is Floyd Rumohr, and he was gracious enough to send me a few copies so I could review them and give some away to my followers.  I have 3 copies of STAGEiT! Shakespeare Grades 5-8 to give away, read on to learn how to be entered for this giveaway!

First of all, I’m all about making Shakespeare much more accessible to the kids, as you all know from the Shakespeare for Kids books that I write.

So, when I got a chance to … Continue reading

Can you find the 14 Movie References in this 4-Min Hamlet?

Hamlet is Crazy

That’s right, Hamlet, not Macbeth which I wrote about the other day. (did you find the 14 movie references in my crazy Macbeth version yet?) Well, as I said previously, I put this together for a 6th grade class as a kick off to performing a few of my melodramatic Shakespeare plays.

A few years ago, when I did a different solo Hamlet, I ended it with Hamlet talking to Claudius and saying, “you killed my father, prepare to die” in the best Inigo Montoya voice … Continue reading

Can you find the 14 Movie References in this 4-Min Macbeth?

I had this great opportunity to perform a silly solo rendition of Macbeth for a group of 6th graders.  As you know, I’m always trying to find fun, engaging ways to get kids to like The Bard, as you can tell by my Shakespeare for Kids books.  Well, while rehearsing, I thought of a cool idea: Why don’t I throw in as many movie references as I can to keep this engaging for the kids (and myself!).  Well, it was pretty fun putting this together.  The kids found 6 of the Macbeth movie references, and frankly, I … Continue reading

Top 10 Female Shakespeare Characters for Kids to Perform

After much feedback for my post about the Top 10 Male Shakespeare characters for kids to perform melodramatically, I had to follow up with the top 10 Female Shakespeare characters for kids to perform.  Now, keep in mind, this is from my perspective and that perspective is always from a crazy, melodramatic view.  So, from worst to first female Shakespeare characters, here they are:

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Violence, Kids, and Shakespeare – It’s all good…

I was chatting with another mom the other day about telling bedtime stories to kids. Her five-year-old son had asked her to tell him a story about knights with swords. Before she knew it, she found she was telling him the story of Hamlet. She went on to describe the panic she felt when she realized that there was a lot about Hamlet that maybe wasn’t so child-friendly. Infidelity? Check. Insanity? Check. Fighting, poison, murder? Check. Check. Check. So, that raises the question: how appropriate are Shakespeare’s plays for kids, anyway?

If you’ve ever taught our plays, you’ll notice … Continue reading

Performing Shakespeare – Days 2-6ish – The Formula

This is a continuation from the article “Shakespeare in a Can: Six Days With the Bard From Start to Stage.” The second installment of performing Shakespeare.

REMEMBER, this mini-Shakespeare play you are doing is NOT a perfect play. Heck, if you want to make it perfect, please don’t do it; that’s a complete waste of creativity, and the kids are chock full of creativity – let’s pull it out! I specifically reference these plays as “Melodramatic Masterpieces,” so please don’t forget the MELODRAMA piece….  It’s what gets the parents rolling in … Continue reading

Book review – Break A Leg – Shakespeare for Kids

I am very diligent about getting kids on stage to perform Shakespeare, or any classic. Now mind you, I do mean in a FUN way (the whole reason I write melodramatic Shakespeare books). Following this mantra, I came across Lise Friedman, co-author of the movie Letters to Juliet. Well Lise is a performing arts guru and has authored a book called Break a Leg! The Kids’ Guide to Acting & Stagecraft.

The Review

After reading through this book (it is more like a kids acting bible than a book) several items popped … Continue reading

Shakespeare Drama Competition with Romeo & Juliet for Kids

drama competition I recently met a teacher from Seattle who decided to use my Romeo & Juliet for Kids play to enter a drama competition for kids in Portland, Oregon.  (It wasn’t limited to just being a Shakespeare competition, but, what a fun idea that would be!) I was able to spend a few minutes with her to see what the experience was like and to give advice … Continue reading

Top 10 Male Shakespeare Characters for Kids to Perform

This is my personal top 10 male Shakespeare characters “for kids”. My thoughts and judgements are based around how much fun they are to perform and play melodramatically on stage, and what you can do with the character to just enjoy and have fun with Shakespeare. This is a list of the top 10 male Shakespeare characters only, the female list will be out soon.  Also, if you have any thoughts or male Shakespeare characters you think I missed, leave a comment below!

10) Prospero – (Tempest) – He’s a wizard with his own personal Monster … Continue reading