For Grades 3-8
Through complex text and conflicted characters, Shakespeare provides a rich experience for students to explore and hone their most foundational life skills: self-awareness, critical thinking, empathy, relationship-building and more.
This customizable residency ties research-backed social and emotional learning competencies with a live Shakespeare performance and post-show workshops.
How Shakespeare Teaches Social-Emotional Learning
UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING EMOTIONS
From rage and betrayal to love and joy, Shakespeare’s got them all. Through storytelling, role-playing, movement and conversations, we help students deep dive into their own emotions and learn how to identify and process them in new ways. This is among the most powerful and cathartic work we do.
BUILDING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Theater helps students get outside of themselves and build connections with one another. During our Shakespeare workshops, students learn how to handle conflict, work cooperatively and communicate thoughtfully in a safe environment.
FEELING AND SHOWING EMPATHY
In order to play Shakespeare’s deeply human characters, students must first understand them. By using Shakespeare’s text and purposeful theater games, students explore the psychology behind complex characters. By working on roles from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they learn about back-story, labelling, and perspective-taking. By doing so, they build greater compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence.
SETTING AND ACHIEVING GOALS
The process of making theater is filled with milestones for students—from learning their first few lines to pulling off a captivating performance. We help students set individual and collective goals for their workshop experience and then provide a framework for reaching those goals and falling short. In doing so, we help students bolster both their confidence and their resilience.
Research shows that students who engage in social and emotional learning activities have lower rates of anxiety, depression and emotional distress and improved attitudes of themselves, helping abilities and academic performances. We’re thrilled to offer schools this new opportunity to help kids unleash their creativity and imagination while boosting these crucial skills.
Contact us to bring this residency to your school.
There are two parts to our program: 1) a thrilling live performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream done by professional actors that comes directly to your school. 2) classroom visits by our teaching-artists that tie in the Shakespeare text with meaningful SEL work. Depending on your goals with the residency, there is a customizable amount of post-show workshops.
This program is for schools who want to tie in SEL and the Arts in a meaningful way. Adults and children of all ages can enjoy the play, and the post-show workshops were designed for 3rd through 8th graders. We adjust the curriculum, depending on what age of student we are targeting, to be developmentally appropriate and academically rigorous.
Both the show and the workshops are a natural way for students to explore their own emotions, understand conflict, practice perspective taking and empathy…all while exposing kids to Shakespeare at an age where they are excited by it.
Child’s Play NY teaching artists are both the actors and teachers. The ensemble of 12 actors who perform the play are classically trained with MFAs from top theater schools such as Tisch, Juilliard and Brown. They have performed Shakespeare across the country, on Broadway and at the Public Theater. Additionally, they are seasoned teachers, with years of experience bringing their passion for the stage into the classroom.
Jocelyn Greene, Executive Director of Child’s Play NY, devised the curriculum of the residency. She drew from her work as a student (MFA, NYU Graduate Acting, BA, Wesleyan University), an actor (The Public Theater, NYSF), and a teacher (Will Power to Youth, Oddfellows Playhouse, Epic Theater) to develop the programming. The post-show work of research-backed SEL games were created in conjunction with developmental PhDs. Jocelyn Greene is an advisor with Mt Siani Parenting Center, you can learn more about her collaborations in the mental health field here.
The performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs 50 minutes. There is a post-show dialogue and workshop for 45 minutes that we do immediately following the show with the assembled audience. We need a large open space for the play such as an auditorium or gym. We require no lights or sound set-up.
There is a flat fee for the performance and then we charge per class per visit. We send in three teaching artists per classroom to work with a group of up to 30 children. The cost goes goes down depending on how many workshops you elect to do with Child’s Play NY. We recommend doing at least three post-show workshops to get the benefit of the work. Read this for a complete break-down of fees.
Funds raised by the PTA or through the DOE’s Arts Partnership Grants. We are happy to advise on the grant-writing process.
The performance features 12 teaching artists. The post-show workshops are run by 3 teaching artists in a classroom of up to 30 students.
The classroom teachers don’t need to prepare anything. The residency is designed to function independently of the school’s curriculum and we will not be adding expectations to t. We will provide a program to prepare the audience to listen to the play, as well as a one-sheet for the teachers to read to the students before they watch the play. If the goal is an end-of-residency performance by the students, we need to plan for 10+ residency visits. In that case we ask that memorization goals be added to the student’s homework responsibilities.
Yes. The Shakespeare Workshop can function as an arts-elective for students and can run the course of a trimester or semester.
Please contact us and include basic information about your school and goals. We will then schedule a phone call with Jocelyn Greene. For residencies of more than 3 times, Jocelyn will come to the school and have a preliminary meeting with the Administration, PTO, Arts Committee etc.