Ohio Schools ‘Stand Up For Shakespeare’

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William Shakepeare is considered the greatest English playwright, yet most people are intimidated at just the thought of watching one of his plays and trying to understand the 16th century semantics, let alone trying to read and interprut them.

Despite these challenges, Ohio schools are participating in a program aimed at reviving Shakespeare and other texts in the classroom.

Almost three thousand Central Ohio K through 12 students are taking part in a unique collaboration between The Ohio State University (OSU) theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to bring Shakespeare to Central Ohio classrooms in ways that inspire active learning.

The ‘Stand up for Shakespeare America’ project “aims to raise the aspirations, achievements and literacy of children and young people across Ohio” through providing training on drama approaches that encourage active exploration of complex texts like Shakespeare.

To talk about this program and its success so far are RSC Education Director Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Senior Text-and-Voice Coach Alison Bomber, OSU MFA acting student Moopi Mothibeli, and Hannah Aston Middle School teacher Amy McKibben.

Listen to a discussion about the strategies that go into interpreting and reviving ancient texts in ways that appeal to high school audiences, and excerpts from a production of Shakespeare’s Othello by Moopi Mothibeli, who plays Othello in the upcoming OSU theater production, just one of many projects resulting from the three-year collaboration between OSU and RSC.

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