Preview, ATC's Online Newsletter
No. 1 - Fall 2011
My Shakespeare: A New Experience
The past season included a tremendous amount of change for ATC Education & Learning. We’ve said farewell to three Education Managers, hello and farewell to a Phoenix Education Associate, welcomed to our fold an intern who has been promoted to a position with us, and the leadership of the department is new with vibrant energy.
Our programming will see similar and exciting change.
Added and prominent to the roster this season is a program that has been developed over the past months, called My Shakespeare. Exemplifying the philosophy of the Education Department that theatre is a catalyst to inspire young people’s creativity, My Shakespeare will use Shakespeare’s boundless writings to support educational growth, literacy, social skills, team-work and creative independence.
Four schools, two in the Phoenix region and two in the Tucson region, will partner with the Education Department on a season-long venture in which students will engage in a sustained and meaningful learning experience through some of the Bard’s most produced, as well as lesser produced, plays (A Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, Othello, Henry V and Measure for Measure) to develop a deeper understanding of the world in which they live and the space they inhabit in that world.
These plays can be deeply personal, political, universal, and issue based. These plays teach structure through the meter and verse of iambic rhythm. They challenge our moral compass: Should Hamlet kill his stepfather; should Isabella sleep with Antonio to free her brother from prison; what price revenge? What price virginity? At other times they are amoral, ribald, funny, provocative… if ‘all the world is a stage’ then Shakespeare has that world covered.
Because this program is decidedly not about creating little Shakespearean actors, but decidedly is about the depth of creativity that resides in us all, our task is to tap into and release that.
And that will be our task this season. In addition to the thrill ATC offers from experiencing our student matinee performances, the depth of experience offered by the Open Doors program, the hands-on instructional aspects of our workshops and residencies, My Shakespeare combines all these elements into one program. It will resonate and unlock Shakespeare. We will inspire and bridge the gap between these young minds and the work on our stage.
And, as is always the case, as we put into the community, so shall it be returned to us. We enter the classroom as leaders of an experience. We exit with the student changed, with the teacher inspired, and both more aware of their capabilities and ideas.