Friday, March 25, 2011

Changing How Young We Teach Shakespeare

We often post advisories about plays: good for all audiences, good for children aged 10 & up, or good for children aged 13 & up, "adult language" advisories, etc.  But it's almost always above age 7.   Children aged five have loved the plays, but we hardly think of them speaking the text.  So too, in Richmond Shakespeare's Education offerings, we often start at 5th grade (age 10), 4th grade (age 9), and occasionally even younger, but over the two+ decades of the company's existence, these age groupings were pretty well set.  

Max Cole may have changed how we think about kids and Shakespeare.  Now it's true, Max's parents are both associate artists with the company, between them they've performed Beatrice, Romeo, Iago, Hamlet, Princess Katherine and this summer Max's Mom will be a daughter of King Lear.  But take a look at Max's work on the Romeo & Juliet prologue and tell us your thoughts.  Here's a link to Mom Sarah's blog about preparing Max to see the show---they talked about its violence and (eek) the kissing---Dad Jeff was Romeo---but Max's own interest and enthusiasm led to learning the prologue.   Heck, he only calls for line twice.  Have a great weekend, and send us your thoughts!