Following a brief introduction on why we love Shakespeare and his works, children participate in a whirlwind, fast paced re-enactment of A Midsummer Night’s Dream narrated and directed by a member of our Heritage Education team. Seated in a large circle, children are pulled one-by-one into the centre to fill the needed roles, using a variety of fun props and costumes before being ‘swooshed’ back to their seats with each scene change. This gives every child a chance to play a variety of different roles and try their acting skills. The response was fantastic: classes belly-laughed through the entire ‘play’, and cheered for themselves and each other at the close.
After the play, the kids have time to create their own colourful mask of one of the characters and a sparkling vial of ‘essence of love in idleness’. Each child is also given an illustrated sticker book to guide them through Shakespeare's Birthplace and other properties, providing exciting ‘hidden gems’ for them to look out for along the way.
Teachers left very pleased with their group’s experience, calling it a ‘really informative, excellent interactive experience for all the children.’ Commenting on the impact of the workshop, another teacher said,
‘it was remarkable: a child who recently joined us from another country—and could speak very little English when he arrived—was acting out parts in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with confidence. Another child with real speech difficulties was confidently acting a part. Amazing!’
Our workshops are a large part of what makes the Trust memorable for young children. The learning team is excited about the success of this workshop and what it will mean for the learning of the students, as well as the progress of outreach programs in the future.
Rachel Hansen, Informal Learning Intern, Brigham Young University