Pages to Players
Focusing primarily on students in grades 4-9, this program utilizes the students' excitement and emerging language skills to bring Shakespeare's text to life. They experience the joy of language before they see Shakespeare as a dense, unmanageable tome — which we have often seen with students entering high school.
These residencies take place during regular English/Language Arts class periods and often involve one or more entire grade levels at the school. Pages to Players residencies can take various forms according to the needs and interests of the school, but usually take one of two basic forms: The Play Immersion Residency (20 day) and the 10-Day Residency Intensive. After-school programming is also available. Please contact our education department for more information on this: 973-845-6742 or education@ShakespeareNJ.org
These dynamic, challenging and fun residencies also tackle many of the Common Core requirements by encouraging students to:
- collaborate with peers and teaching artists
- engage in predictive reading
- explore phonics and etymology of words
- utilize context clues
- interpret language, story and character
- explore theme, tone and story structure
In all cases, the students work with Shakespeare Theatre teaching artists who lead the residency activities. Because these residencies are most often based in the English classroom, the primary focus is on using performance and the theatrical tradition as tools for achieving greater proficiency and pleasure in the study of the English language generally, and Shakespeare specifically. We have found that, particularly for unwilling readers and students with special needs who may struggle in the traditional English classroom, the residency experience opens unexpected pathways into language. Along the way, students are also introduced to many of the fundamental skills utilized by theatre artists, such as ensemble techniques and teamwork, vocal clarity and projection, and others which can have a lifelong impact.
The Shakespeare Theatre's teaching artists also work in partnership with the classroom teachers to coordinate our work with curriculum and to ensure that their educational objectives are being met. We encourage the teachers to be active partners and participants throughout the residency process. Collaborations with classroom teachers have included special art projects, "Shakespeare Journals" and even a "Shakespeare Blog."
In recent years, participating schools have included: Normandy Park School (Morristown, NJ); Alexander Hamilton School (Morristown, NJ); Forest Street School (Orange, NJ); Glenwood Elementary School (Short Hills, NJ); Harding Township School (New Vernon, NJ); Quibbletown Middle School, Conackamack Middle School, and T. Schor Middle School (Piscataway, NJ); and Horace Mann School (Riverdale, NY).For more information or to inquire about a residency at your school, please contact the Education Department, 973-845-6746.