Each student is introduced to basic Elizabethan history and provided with a "No Fear Shakespeare"* volume of the selected play to read it in contemporary English and understand the setting, characters, and plot. Theatre games develop and exercise vocal and physical skills, practice focus and self-management methods, explore a range of human emotions and instincts, and teach basic stagecraft. An age-appropriate excerpt of the original Elizabethan text is then provided for students to identify and learn Elizabethan vocabulary, syntax, and colloquialisms, and basic poetic forms. By week 4, the students have auditioned for their roles, begun to develop their characters, memorize their lines and blocking in preparation for week 12's full-production performances** for their schoolmates, families, and communities.
In 6th grade, most students have broadened their awareness and curiosity to conditions beyond their immediate households. This curriculum expands to include exploration of each Play’s central themes, how they remain relevant in today’s society/current events, how these themes manifest in the students’ personal lives, and how the students can incorporate their views into the production and performances.
*"No Fear Shakespeare" editions contain the selected Play's original script in Elizabethan English side-by-side with its translation into contemporary English.
**Performances include Scenics, Costumes, Props, Lighting, Sound, and Special FX provided by TYS.
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