RSC Education News - June 2014
News from the Royal Shakespeare Company for teachers, students and people working in education and teaching.
EDUCATION NEWS BRINGING SHAKESPEARE TO LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM JUNE 2014 TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCES OF SHAKESPEARE RSC Education is committed to building long-term relationships with schools, teachers and young people and particularly those who might not ordinarily experience our work. On our map you can see the breadth of connections we make across the country and inside this edition you will find stories from our partner schools and theatres, all of whom are finding new ways to engage young people in Shakespeare’s work. You will also find information about all of our Education work including Young Shakespeare Nation (YSN), an invitation for you and your students to join our journey through the 36 First Folio plays over the next six years. YSN IN ACTION ■ In 2013 RSC education reached 450,000 students across the UK and in 14 countries world-wide. ■ From 2006 – 2014 RSC Education’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN) has gone from strength to strength and we have now established relationships in over 400 schools and 10 regional theatres across England. ■ In 2013 the RSC became the first theatre company to broadcast our productions directly into classrooms and entirely for free. Over 30,000 young people joined us in watching Richard II. JOIN US ON OUR JOURNEY, PUT YOURSELF ON OUR MAP, BECOME A MEMBER, DOWNLOAD OUR RESOURCES, SIGN UP FOR OUR LIVE BROADCASTS, BOOK A WORKSHOP OR ATTEND OUR CONFERENCES. HELP US TO CREATE A YOUNG SHAKESPEARE NATION! FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.RSC.ORG.UK/EDUCATION OR CALL THE RSC EDUCATION TICKET HOTLINE ON 0844 800 1113 8.30am-5pm, Mon-Fri during UK term time Find us on Facebook RSCTeachers Follow us on Twitter @RSC_Education CREATING A YOUNG SHAKESPEARE NATION Creating a Young Shakespeare Nation In this 450th anniversary of the year of Shakespeare’s birth, the Royal Shakespeare Company, together with our partner theatres and schools across the country are thinking about the generation of young people currently going through the education system and the access they have to Shakespeare’s extraordinary legacy. For any school that wants to develop their approach to teaching Shakespeare or enhance the quality of their students' enjoyment of the work, there are now a myriad of ways to do that. Our theatre partners and the hub and cluster schools that work in long term partnership with us provide inspirational examples of how Shakespeare’s work is being shared with their communities. Here are just a few stories from around the country of work that has taken place this academic year: 2 Archibald Primary School in Middlesbrough has been exploring The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a whole school with a particular focus on written outcomes. Bitterne Park Secondary School and The Nuffield Theatre, Southampton launched an after school Shakespeare club for students this year. Nuffield Theatre is helping prepare teachers for a regional festival of Shakespeare’s work next academic year, and Bitterne Park has also identified a group of students who will play a leadership role in the production of that performance festival. St Albans Academy, Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company worked together to create a flash mob performance of Henry IV Part I which was performed at the school in front of the local community in April. The school has also been exploring The Merchant of Venice and 300 students participated in our first online broadcast of Richard II in November last year. Students from St Albans also attended our cross-gender production of The Taming of the Shrew at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon earlier this year. Treviglas Community College, Newquay and Hall for Cornwall have focused on taking Shakespeare into the local community, creating new audiences in the process. Two productions have taken place at Treviglas: Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the latter being a co-production with Hall for Cornwall) and cluster schools and members of the local community participated in both. Students from the College travelled to Stratfordupon-Avon to see The Taming of the Shrew earlier this year. Alongside this has been curricular development within Treviglas Community College and their cluster schools. York High School and York Theatre Royal. This year, York Theatre Royal staged their first ReAct Festival for York Secondary schools (including York High School). Each school performed a short piece based on Richard III (on the set of York Theatre Royal’s production of the play). The York High School performance was then taken on tour into clusters of schools where YHS students also ran workshops with younger pupils. You will have your own examples to add to these as no-one has to look very far now to find a school or individual teacher doing great work to excite their students and the wider community about this unique inheritance. We see time and again in our work with students and teachers how unlocking Shakespeare's work helps us do what all great art can do; to see and understand the world, each other, and ourselves in deeper and richer ways. For the RSC, the critical thing about the work we undertake with children, young people and teachers is that it is rooted in the real world work of our rehearsal rooms. As a theatre company whose mission is to engage contemporary audiences in Shakespeare's work, we seek to share the practice of actors and directors who are daily exploring the interpretive possibilities of the plays and making discoveries about and connections between Shakespeare's world, the worlds of the plays and our own world. When students understand that the work we do with them is not made up for their benefit but rather an essential way of working for professional actors and directors, their investment in it changes; it feels authentic and meaningful. Over the next six years we are staging all 36 of Shakespeare's First Folio plays without repetition. Through an initiative that we have called Young Shakespeare Nation, we are inviting schools across the UK to join us on this ambitious journey. We want children and young people going through school today, as well as future generations, to have unlimited access to our work and to have the tools to develop a life-long relationship with Shakespeare, theatre-going and theatremaking. We still believe the best way to achieve this is through Doing Shakespeare on your Feet, Seeing it Live and Starting it Earlier. We hope you will join us, either through: our professional development programme; registering to take part in our free schools' broadcast series; attending live performances, special events and workshops; or by accessing our growing body of free online materials. Together, we can create a Young Shakespeare Nation and make 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, a truly memorable occasion. JACQUI O’HANLON RSC Director of Education Case Study: ST MARY’S COLLEGE AND HULL TRUCK THEATRE St Mary’s College in Hull is working in partnership with Hull Truck Theatre and the RSC through our long-term national programme, The Learning and Performance Network (LPN). Kerry Smith, an English teacher at St Mary’s, has introduced her department to RSC approaches and is creating new schemes of work on plays that haven’t previously been taught in the school. Last year she applied active approaches to Henry V with Year 11 for their controlled assessment and brought more Shakespeare to her Year 9s with a new task of comparing The Winter’s Tale to King Lear. Kerry also created a new active scheme of work for Year 7 on A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired by the RSC Toolkit for Teachers and has led professional development sessions in her department. This year the school are focusing on three plays that are new to them; Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest. They are working with a cluster of six other local schools including two special schools. Each term has included a theatre trip to either Hull Truck or the RSC to give students the experience of seeing Shakespeare live. The year’s work has been supported by teacher training days and workshops for students run by Neil Wood, Director of Performance at St Mary’s working alongside an RSC Education Practitioner. Writing schemes of work have been delivered by English teachers at St Mary’s, based on The Tempest, and these are going to be displayed around the school. Kerry commented ‘there is no longer that groan from students when teachers say that they are going to be working on Shakespeare. There is a growing excitement in the school around Shakespeare and theatre in general’. 3 YOUNG SHAKESPEARE NATION CONFERENCE We celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with every primary school in England As a result of a grant from the Department for Education and to coincide with Shakespeare’s 450th birthday celebrations on 23 April, the RSC Shakespeare Toolkit for Primary Teachers was sent to every state-maintained Primary school in England. TEACHERS! ENJOY AN ACTIVE DAY OF PRACTICE AND INSIGHT Young Shakespeare Nation Conference Stratford-upon-Avon, Friday 7th November 2014 Cost: £130 (RSC Education Members)/£145 (non-members) This one-day conference offers an excellent opportunity for Primary and Secondary teachers to come to Stratford-upon-Avon and experience first hand the Royal Shakespeare Company’s practical approaches to teaching Shakespeare, all inspired by the work of our actors and directors in the rehearsal room. Part of Young Shakespeare Nation, the conference will include a keynote address, two practical workshops, and the option of seeing a production on one of the RSC’s stages. Practical workshops will be led by some of the RSC’s most experienced Education Practitioners including Jacqui O’Hanlon, Rachel Gartside and Miles Tandy. You will also have the opportunity to work with RSC artists and actors. Whether you are an experienced teacher of Shakespeare or someone teaching the plays for the first time, this conference will help raise student levels of attainment, and enliven and enrich your teaching by: • Building on what you know to help you make more adventurous choices and teach more of the canon • Preparing your students to make the most of the RSC live streams of the plays into your school and classroom • Making best use of the RSC Shakespeare Toolkit for Teachers and other classroom resources Draft Programme: 9.30 Registration and reception in the Upper Circle Bar 10.00 Keynote Address in the Swan Theatre 10.45 Practical Workshop 1 12.45 Lunch in the Upper Circle Bar 1.45 Practical Workshop 2 4 – 4.30 Tea and Plenary in the Ashcroft Room To book: Call the RSC Education Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1113 4 Building on over 60 years of work by RSC Education, the Toolkit promotes an active, ‘playful’ approach to Shakespeare’s plays and uses practical techniques developed in the RSC’s rehearsal rooms to help Primary age children tune into the language, characters and stories. It is designed to support Primary schools and teachers who want to develop their repertoire of Shakespeare teaching approaches. Commenting on the Toolkit, one of the many resources created by RSC Education to support the teaching of Shakespeare, Miles Tandy, Head of Professional Development, said: “For over 60 years RSC Education has worked with teachers and young people all over the world. Our overwhelming experience has been that when we introduce Primary age children to Shakespeare’s work, they are more open to the language, characters and stories as they progress into secondary education. Children are masters of play and by introducing Shakespeare in playful ways we can tap into their imaginations and ignite their curiosity about this extraordinary body of work. The Toolkit is a practical guide to teaching Shakespeare in fun and stimulating ways. It is a vehicle for RSC Education to share everything we’ve learnt over the years with teachers so that many more young people can enjoy and be inspired by Shakespeare’s work.” We have recently created some special guidance for Infant schools about how to adapt the approaches in the Toolkit for younger children. Visit www.rsc.org.uk/education/about/rsctoolkit-for-primary-teachers.aspx The Schools’ Broadcast Series GET YOUR SCHOOL ON THE RSC MAP! Join us now as we continue our free schools’ broadcast series THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA HENRY IV PARTS I & II Shakespeare’s comment on friendship, love, constancy and fickleness, this romantic comedy takes us from the controlled world of Verona and Milan to the wildness of the forest where, it seems, anything can happen. ARE SPE AKE SH IAM L WIL With its focus on friendship, rivalry and self-discovery, this text is perfect for study at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4. For A-Level students, the play also presents an opportunity to explore one of Shakespeare’s rarely performed early comedies. WIL Photo of Antony Sher by Sasha Gusov LIA MS HAK ESP EAR E AN EPIC, COMIC AND THRILLING VISION OF A NATION IN TURMOIL Photo of Jasper Britton by Sasha Gusov Thursday 20 November Schools across the UK will be joining us on the 6 and 30 June to watch the FREE schools’ broadcasts of Henry IV Parts I & II. Over 20,000 young people will be watching Shakespeare’s plays of friendship and betrayal, the nature of kingship and paternal love, set against a backdrop of war, rebellion and a highly turbulent time in English history. Sowing the seeds We have developed resource materials to prepare both Primary and Secondary aged young people for the Henry IV broadcasts. You can download the materials from our website at www.rsc.org.uk/education/resources/bank/ REGISTER NOW Registration for Henry IV Part II is open until 20 June. Registration for The Two Gentlemen of Verona opens on 23 June. Sign up now at onscreen.rsc.org.uk/education Registration is simple – all you need is the address and postcode details for your school, contact details for a teacher, the approximate number of students watching the broadcast and their key stages. When you have submitted your form, you will receive an email confirming your registration and we will contact you regularly with updates about receiving the broadcast and the teacher resources available. 5 Events & Workshops Visit www.rsc.org.uk/education to find out more and call the STAGING THE WARS As the RSC presents Shakespeare’s history plays during the course of the next six years, we are offering a programme of work exploring the wars at the heart of the plays: civil war, wars fought overseas, and wars fought and won through words. This begins with a series of events looking at Henry IV Parts I & II. REPORTING WAR WITH MICHAEL WOOD Examine the characters and action of Henry IV Part I in the context of today’s media with this practical one day event featuring Michael Wood, Historian. How much bias is there in the reporting of war, both in terms of Shakespeare’s plays and our world today? Michael Wood is joined by other Historians and members of RSC Creative Teams to explore the perspectives through which we see these events – those of the conqueror or the conquered? Ideal for: KS4 & KS5 English, History and Politics students Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Clore Learning Centre Date: 11 June 2014, 10am-4pm Cost: £35 per student (RSC Education Members), £40 per student (non-Members), including ticket to the evening performance of Henry IV Part I RHETORIC: THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE How is rhetoric used in Shakespeare’s war plays to persuade, influence and affect? And how are those techniques used by leaders today? Explore this topic through a specially devised event featuring historians, voice and text practitioners and RSC Actors, and a Q&A session. Ideal for: KS5 and Undergraduate students Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre Date: 25 June 2014, 10am-4pm Cost: £30 per student (RSC Education Members), £35 per student (non-Members) including ticket to the evening performance of Henry IV Part I 6 THE WHITE DEVIL ‘INSIGHT INTO’ AND WORKSHOP Due to popular demand we are running another programme of work for Sixth Form students on The White Devil. The day includes an on-stage ‘Insight Into’ the production with actors and members of the creative team and a practical workshop exploring the play and production choices followed by a matinee performance. Ideal for: KS5 Venue: The Swan Theatre and The Clore Learning Centre Date: 12 November 2014, 10.15am-11.15am ‘Insight Into’ session, 11.30am-12.30pm Workshop in Clore. Cost: ‘Insight Into’ session and workshop £10.50 per student for RSC Education Members £12.50 for non RSC Education. Tickets to the production must be purchased separately. THE WHITE DEVIL JOHN WEBSTER RSC for Students Education Ticket STUDENT SUMMER SCHOOL Encourage your 18-25 year old students to dive head first into Shakespeare with our immersive Student Summer School. They will spend 5 days in Stratford-upon-Avon, using the plays from the Summer 2014 season as a starting point to explore the text from all angles with insights from actors, practitioners, academics and creative teams. Perfect for undergraduates, gap year students or those interested in an in-depth exploration of the plays in performance. Ideal for: 18-25 year olds Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Date: 26-30 August 2014 Cost: £250, including tickets to see The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV Part I. Excludes accommodation and meals. Hotline on 0844 800 1113 to Workshops for students Don’t forget that you can book a Student Workshop on any Shakespeare play or current RSC production all year round. Workshops can offer a first introduction, or a more in-depth insight and can be tailored for students from Key Stage 1 to undergraduate, with or without prior knowledge of the text. Maximum 30 students per workshop. We can run up to 3 workshops at any one time for a maximum of 80 students. HALF DAY WORKSHOP FROM 10AM-12NOON, 1-3PM OR 4-6PM RSC Education Member £187.50 (for 25 students) plus £7.50 per additional student (maximum 30 students) Non-Member £200 (for 25 students) plus £8 per additional student (maximum 30 students) Overseas groups £287.50 (for 25 students) plus £11.50 per additional student (maximum 30 students) FULL DAY WORKSHOP FROM 10AM-3.30PM OR 1-6PM RSC Education Member £325 (for 25 students) plus £13 per additional student (maximum 30 students) Non-Member £350 (for 25 students) plus £14 per additional student (maximum 30 students) Overseas groups £450 (for 25 students) plus £18 per additional student (maximum 30 students) book JOIN US… Become an RSC Education Member and you can save money from your very first school booking. You will receive information in advance so you can plan your trips more easily, and benefit from Priority Booking, school ticket discounts and lots of other benefits. Education Membership Benefits include: • Advance information and Priority Booking - up to two weeks before Public Booking opens • Exclusive ticket discount £12.50 tickets for UK student groups of 10+ (non Members £16.50 per ticket) plus 1 free ticket for each teacher accompanying every 10 students* • Deferred • Discount payment option on RSC Education activities including courses for teachers • Regular Members' Newsletters with all the latest RSC news including new productions, casting updates, special offers and advance information on education events and teachers' courses • No ticket exchange or resale fees (£2 for non members)* • Regular Members' email updates • £1 ticket for the Tower* (non-Members £2.50) • 10% discount at RSC cafes and bars, the Rooftop Restaurant (excluding pre-theatre menu) and RSC Short Breaks* RSC workshops, conferences and professional development courses are generously supported by THE CLORE DUFFIELD FOUNDATION. Book theatre professional and you will cost of your RSC Youth Ensemble- Rob Freeman 2008 tickets or a development course save at least the Membership. *Terms & Conditions apply 7 Events & Workshops Visit www.rsc.org.uk/education to find out more and call the ‘INSIGHT INTO’ Pre-show sessions in the theatre with members of the acting company and creative teams which explore how text has been brought to life on stage and the range of interpretive choices available to the Director and actors. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about the production. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Ideal for: KS2-5 Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre Date: 12 & 19 November 2014 – The White Devil 26 November 2014 – The Witch of Edmonton 11 December 2014 – The Christmas Truce 22 January 2015 – Love’s Labour’s Lost 26 February 2015 – Love’s Labour’s Won (Much Ado About Nothing) WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Cost: £3 per student (RSC Education Members) £4 per student (non-Members) THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE – PRIMARY OPEN DAY The RSC opens its doors to Primary students to unlock the process of creating and staging The Christmas Truce. School groups can take part in a range of activities and experiences throughout the morning including practical workshops, tours of the building, visits to Shakespeare’s classroom, school trails, writing and adaptation workshops, design sessions and make-up demonstrations. full programme to be announced. In the afternoon, schools will see the matinee performance of The Christmas Truce followed by a post-show talk with the actors. Ideal for: Years 5 and 6 Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre Date: 15 January 9.00am - 5.00pm Cost: £10 per student plus ticket to the matinee performance 8 PHIL PORTER RSC for Students Education Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1113 to book Student study days THESE SPECIALLY CREATED DAYS WILL ENABLE STUDENTS TO EXPLORE IN DETAIL THE WORK OF THE RSC AND THE WAYS IN WHICH ACTORS, DIRECTORS AND WRITERS UNLOCK TEXTS FROM THE INITIAL CONCEPT TO THE FINAL STAGE PRODUCTIONS. TEXT AND VOICE DIRECTING PLAYWRITING Ideal for: A-Level and BTEC English, Theatre and Drama students; Gifted and Talented students Ideal for: A-Level and BTEC English, Theatre and Drama students; Gifted and Talented students Ideal for: A-Level and BTEC English, Theatre and Drama students; Gifted and Talented students Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Date: 7 October 2014, 10am-4pm Date: 21 November 2014, 10am-4pm Date: 5 February 2015, 10am-4pm Cost: £13 per student (RSC Education Members) £14 per student (non-Members) Cost: £13 per student (RSC Education Members) £14 per student (non-Members) Cost: £13 per student (RSC Education Members) £14 per student (non-Members) Working with a leading RSC practitioner, this day will give students an immersive experience of the Text and Voice work of the RSC. It will explore the kind of processes actors undertake as they create meaning and understanding in Shakespeare's language. The main text will be Love's Labour’s Won (Much Ado About Nothing) but others will be explored. Aimed at giving students an understanding of the role of an RSC Director in the rehearsal room, this day will give students a chance to experience the techniques and approaches used by leading contemporary Directors. Working with these insights and exercises, students will gain a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s language and meaning. Working with members of the RSC Literary and Education departments, students will go through the process of beginning to write a first draft of a new piece of work, leading to a starting script at the end of the day. FIND INSPIRATION ONLINE Inspired by the RSC rehearsal process, www.rsc.org.uk/education offers a range of free online resources designed to support you in offering active and practical approaches to learning. · · · · · Explore our online Shakespeare Resource Bank, featuring images, videos, teachers’ packs and theme pages on a range of Shakespeare plays Watch our free online performances, including I, Cinna:The Poet and First Encounter King Lear Find resources to help students gain their Shakespeare Challenge Arts Award Discover Write Here, Write Now With Matilda, an online resource created to accompany our production of Matilda The Musical Learn more about the life of William Shakespeare 9 EVENTS, WORKSHOPS AND CPD FOR TEACHERS THE TEMPEST Shakespeare’s beautiful play of love and magic is specially edited for an audience of children with autism. Ideal for: 8-16 year olds who are on the autistic spectrum Venue: The Other Place, at The Courtyard Theatre Date: 24 June – 4 July 2014 Cost: £5 per person How to book: Call the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114 THE TEMPEST TEACHERS’ INSET DAY This course has been devised for teachers who are bringing their students to The Tempest. The session, led by Kelly Hunter, will give you the opportunity to learn the essential games of The Hunter Heartbeat Method on which this production of The Tempest is based. The methodology uses the themes of Shakespeare to combat the communicative blocks of autism. These games can be played by actors, teachers and parents with children with autism no matter where they are on the spectrum. There will also be time for a Q&A session with Kelly. SUMMER SCHOOL Now in its 67th year, this celebrated week-long course offers participants insights into Henry IV Part I, The White Devil, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Roaring Girl and their context with talks and lectures by actors, Directors and leading academics. The RSC Summer School is delivered in collaboration with The Shakespeare Institute, which is also the venue for the week. Ideal for: Teachers who are bringing their students to a performance of The Tempest Ideal for: Any teachers looking to gain a greater insight into the plays and the work of the RSC Venue: Room 2, The Clore Learning Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon Venue: The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon Date: 27 June 2014 1.30pm – 5pm Cost: £50 per person How to book: Call the RSC Education Ticket Hotline 0844 800 1113 Date: 17-22 August 2014 Cost: £165 plus cost of performance tickets (accommodation and meals not included) YOUNG SHAKESPEARE NATION CONFERENCE – AN ACTIVE DAY OF PRACTICE AND INSIGHT See page 4 for details. Ideal for: English and Drama Teachers at any stage Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Swan Theatre & The Clore Learning Centre Date: 7 November 2014, 9.30am - 4.30pm Cost: £130 (RSC Education Members)/£145 (non-Members) There will be an opportunity to buy tickets for performances on either 6 or 7 November. 10 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN YOUR SCHOOL From as little as £35 per teacher Wherever you are in the UK, we can bring our Teacher Professional Development work to you. We can run a course at a venue of your choice for up to 25 staff. Or you may prefer to bring a group to Stratford-upon-Avon where we will provide the venue and arrange the day for you. A CPD day is an ideal way to build the skills of a whole staff or can be a powerful focus for bringing specialist teachers together across a local area. From as little as £35 per teacher we can create and run a bespoke day tailored to the specific needs of the group you bring together. All we need to know is: The Shakespeare text(s) you would like to explore The experience of the participants The age of the pupils you teach Cost: Full day £850 RSC Education Members (£875 non-Members) for up to 25 teachers. Find out more by calling RSC Education on 01789 272548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can support you. MASTERCLASSES FOR TEACHERS TEXT AND VOICE MASTERCLASS: READING THE SCORE PLAYWRITING MASTERCLASS WITH PHIL PORTER Ideal for: Drama, Performing Arts and English teachers looking to extend and challenge their students Ideal for: English and Drama teachers looking for help for themselves and their students to develop confidence and skills in dramatic writing Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Date: 17 & 18 October 2014 Date: 23 & 24 January 2015 Cost: Cost: This course is designed to give participants an immersive experience of the Text and Voice work of the RSC. It explores the kind of process actors undertake as they interpret and own Shakespeare's language. Over the course of the two days participants will explore the language physically and vocally, uncovering the structures, sounds, rhythms and rhetoric of the language that help actors unlock its meaning. £260 (RSC Education Members) £285 (non-Members) including tickets to see Love's Labour's Lost on 17 October Spend two days working with playwright Phil Porter to explore the process of creating new work for the stage. Phil co-edited last year’s A Mad World My Masters with Sean Foley and has written The Christmas Truce, which plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre this winter. £260 (RSC Education Members) £285 (non-Members) including tickets to see Love's Labour's Lost on 23 January 2015 DIRECTING MASTERCLASS WITH ERICA WHYMAN Just as teachers are with students, Directors at the RSC are continually re-interpreting Shakespeare for a 21st century audience. This course, with RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, is for teachers who want an authentic experience of RSC rehearsal room practice. Over two days you will investigate a variety of Erica’s directing techniques, which can easily be transferred to work with young people. Ideal for: Drama and Theatre Arts teachers who want to connect with contemporary rehearsal room approaches to Shakespeare Venue: The Clore Learning Centre Date: 30 & 31 January 2015, 10am-4pm Cost: £260 (RSC Education Members) £285 (non-Members) including tickets to see Love's Labour's Won on 30 January 11 THE TEMPEST THIS SUMMER, AS PART OF THE MIDSUMMER MISCHIEF FESTIVAL, KELLY HUNTER EDITS AND DIRECTS THE TEMPEST USING GAMES INSPIRED BY THE PLAY. DEVELOPED OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS, HER APPROACH AIMS TO COMBAT THE CHALLENGES OF AUTISM. This production is aimed at 8-16 year olds on the autistic spectrum. In an intimate and interactive experience, young people are invited to join the actors, playing sensory games to help bring the story to life. approach and I began to create specific sensory games for them to play based on fundamental concepts of Shakespeare. The games have developed and evolved over the years and have been named The Hunter Heartbeat Method by Ohio State University (OSU). We caught up with Director Kelly Hunter to find out more about her production of The Tempest Can you tell us a little bit about how you began working with children and young people with autism and what led to your discovery of the Hunter Heartbeat method? I ran my own company, Touchstone Shakespeare Theatre from 2002 to 2006 taking Shakespeare to children with no access to the arts. Within this time I worked at a special school, The Glebe School Bromley, in which there was a unit for children with autism. These children responded positively to my What do you most enjoy about working with young people and children with autism? Creating new ways of combating the children’s autism through exploring the specifics of Shakespeare is enjoyable. Developing a relationship with the children and having the privilege of playing a small part in their lives as they grow up is gratifying, especially when they achieve communicative breakthroughs through playing the games. What is it about drama - and more specifically Shakespeare’s work - that young people with autism seem to particularly respond to? Shakespeare’s plays are a poetic exploration of how it feels to be alive, how it feels to expressively communicate. Children with autism struggle with communication; expressing feelings, making eye contact, accessing their mind’s eye and their dreams, keeping a steady heartbeat and recognising faces are all part of the autism dilemma and all poetically explored by Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s poetic definitions of seeing, thinking and loving are the very processes that those on the spectrum find so difficult to achieve. Embedding these unattainable skills within games derived from moments of Shakespeare, which the children play and thereby benefit from, is at the heart of this work. Do all Shakespeare’s plays lend themselves to being adapted in the way The Tempest has or are there some that are more suitable for working with children/young people with autism? So far I’ve created games around The Tempest, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Macbeth, King Lear, Twelfth Night and Hamlet for the children to play. All the games hold on to the essential aim of the work, using the fundamental concepts of Shakespeare - the rhythm of the iambic and a poetic exploration of how it feels to be alive - to combat the communicative blocks of autism. In theory any of his plays are suitable. The Shakespeare and Autism research project with The OSU is a three year project. When does the project come to an end? The research project in Ohio will conclude its three years in Spring 2015. Are you looking for specific outcomes as a result of this production as part of your ongoing work and/or the research project with OSU? For the last twelve years I have worked solely with body and voice. I’m interested to see how the addition of basic theatre tools; a floor cloth, minimal costume and music will affect the games and the children. What’s next in terms of your work around drama/Shakespeare and its impact on children and young people with autism? I have a book coming out next year published by Routledge, describing the work and the games. I very much hope that the production will be seen by further audiences after this initial run. The Tempest will be running from 24 June – 4 July 2014 at The Other Place, at The Courtyard Theatre with an inset day on 27 June 2014 for teachers bringing students to the production. Find out more about both at www.rsc.org.uk/tempest