If you are an English teacher - junior or senior high school, college or university, public or private school, or homeschooling family - I'd like to invite you to join this group! It should be a fun way to discuss various issues pertaining to English, writing, literature, and teaching in general.
Let me know if you have any questions!
MALibrarian (Jen) :)
Hi there! Well, as you might have seen, I've not been at all active on eNotes of late. I saw your post about my directing Shakespeare in the Wm. Shakes. group, but I ended up not being able to find the link again to get back and answer your post! Sorry! :) Anyway, I just love teaching and directing Shakespeare - that's all there is to it. As far as books that have helped, there are a TON! My biggest emphasis has been to help the kids understand that they have to know what they're saying for the audience to understand. They also have to use the meter and verse provided, rather than trying to ignore it. To that end, various books have been indispensable - Patsy Rodenburg's Speaking Shakespeare; John Basil's Will Power; Wesley Van Tassel's Clues to Acting Shakespeare; John Barton's Playing Shakespeare (and the DVD set that is available to go with it); and A Shakespearean Actor Prepares by Adrian Brine and Michael York. These are probably the ones I used the most.
What I found interesting was that every one of these books agree on certain key elements - the importance of scansion; understanding the language; trusting Shakespeare's text to tell you who your character is and what their personalities and motivations are; and the emphasis on Hamlet's advice to actors in Act III, scene 2, for being a perfect starting point on how to "act Shakespeare."
Also, my website has change to www.palousehighlandplayers.org - I determined that enough kids in our community wanted the opportunity to be part of this theatre troupe, so I changed us from being the Highland Players of Montrose Academy to the Palouse Highland Players. When held auditions in April for our summer production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, I had 44 people audition - a new record for us! It's exciting to see young people get this excited about theatre and Shakespeare!
Let me know if you have any other questions - this is such a passion for me, I LOVE talking and writing about it! :)
So the real question I have for you, malibrarian, is how on earth do you find time to be an active member of enotes and in addition involved in Shakespeare performances in addition to teaching English? Are you just superwoman?! Thanks for creating this group.