SHAKESPEARE IN SCHOOL
At WSF, we believe that exposing young people to Shakespeare at an early age can lead to a life-long appreciation for language, poetry, drama, and literature. We also believe that an encounter with Shakespeare can give young people tools for understanding their own lives, relationships, and the world. After all, Shakespeare’s plays deal with the basic themes of life—love, friendship, ambition, family, jealousy, death, prejudice, revenge, loyalty, and forgiveness.
Shakespeare in School is a classroom residency program which seeks to develop literacy and dramatic skills through early exposure to Shakespeare's plays. Teaching artists visit the elementary school classroom over a period of months, developing scenes and original material with the students. Each year-long residency focuses on one of Shakespeare’s plays and culminates with an age-appropriate performance of the play, including dramatic material developed by the students.
The SIS approach to Shakespeare is interactive and collaborative. Students learn to create on their feet, through theater games, scene and character work, and devising activities. The work builds on the students’ unique strengths and creative abilities, so that each young person becomes a core member of the class ensemble. As we develop our grade-level curriculum, we draw from outcomes articulated in the California Core and Visual and Performing Arts Standards.
The Shakespeare in School program begins with a pilot program in 2013-2014, in a Fresno Unified elementary school. SIS is funded by grants, donations, and school funds as these are available.
If you would like to support the WSF-SIS program through a donation, or for other inquiries, contact Julia Reimer.