in our town there are two companies that perform Shakespeare free in the park. for us this is the perfect introduction to the pleasures of theater performance. there hasn’t been a big outlay of money, so we don’t have to stay till the end to get our money’s worth. and it’s ok to take the wiggly toddler for a walk around the grounds.
we choose which plays to study based on what’s being performed the following summer. this year we’ll be studying the Scottish play! but no matter the play, the approach is the same. we begin with story. we begin with lush illustrations and retellings of the famous plays. our two favorite resources are All the World’s a Stage and The Random House Shakespeare.
All the World’s a Stage is written in rhyme that’s sometimes less than inspiring. but we focus on the illustrations by Anita Lobel. in a single page she highlights most of the characters and major plot points. it’s an amazing feat! it’s also a great way to review or even quiz yourself! The Random House Book of Shakespeare Stories again has beautiful illustrations, and the retellings are perfect for reading aloud.