There’s a technology wave sweeping the way elementary students learn and present Shakespeare. Wrapping up the children’s festival here at the Folger reaffirms our belief that performing Shakespeare live is a very visceral and accessible approach to experiencing his plays. But what about introducing Shakespeare through film technology? Not just by vieiwing it but becoming a part of the process. Across the pond in England, innovative educators have given their students cameras right along with Shakespeare words. Check out this article and video about the work of Crosshall Junior School students in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. And here in the Washington, DC region students from the Katherine Thomas School gave a special storybook film presentation of Twelfth Night during our children’s festival. Educator, Mark Ricche used green screen technology to help students with special needs who were not able to perform live, connect to Shakespeare’s work through this medium. The student’s pride in being able to present in this way was infectious.
What do you think? Are these educators on to something? Could this approach take off as a new way of reaching increasingly more tech savvy kids and teaching them Shakespeare? Does taking on a project like this exhibit a deeper understanding of the text or just as importantly give an alternative outlet for sharing the text?