If music be the food of love, Seth Boyden’s fourth graders would say “EWW! He’s talking about love!” Then they would laugh and get back to their rehearsals of Twelfth Night.
This fall Melinda Hall, a Theater Artist-in-Residence, worked with all of the fourth grade students to stage fun, accessible adaptations of the Shakespeare masterpiece, to the delight and amusement of parents, teachers, and -- best of all -- each other.
The program,initiated by principal Mark Quiles and financed by the school’s PTA, introduces the work of Shakespeare to the students, and gives them a platform to perform and really inhabit the story. On November 18, 2015, parents came to the school auditorium for a performance. In an effort to keep both expectations and nerves low, Ms. Hall called it a “dress rehearsal” and helped the kids with their lines throughout.
Ms. Hall created a twenty-minute script for the Seth Boyden fourth grade by Ms. Hall using quite a few of Shakespeare's original lines, which the kids handled perfectly. Ms. Hall said, “My purpose was to create a place that would boost a student's confidence and introduce Shakespeare to them in a friendly way.”
It was a fun and engaging way to introduce Shakespeare—a writer these students will hopefully experience much more of in the years ahead.
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