The World Theatre Project, one of Theatre for a New Audience’s classroom residency programs, kicks off in January. For students, the program combines the experience of seeing a classical play with in-depth classroom work. The idea behind the program is that, with guidance, young people will respond to the language and timeless themes of classical plays. This year’s focus is Shakespeare’s Othello.
In order to foster a connection to the characters and the world of the play, teaching artists will focus on themes that students can relate to, like jealousy and Othello’s status as an outsider. The story, characters, and themes of the play are reinforced through interactive storytelling and dramatic activities. Through this class work, students will recognize in Othello’s trials their own life experiences trying to fit in, and will be better equipped to understand his actions.
Throughout the residency, emphasis is placed on the language of Shakespeare, which students tackle in depth. They practice iambic pentameter, explore imagery, and critically analyze monologues and soliloquies. Through this work, students begin to understand and use Shakespeare’s heightened language.
After seeing our production, students choose their favorite scenes, and teaching artists work with them to develop and write their own interpretations, interspersing Shakespeare’s language. These scenes are performed at a culminating event at the semester’s end.
For more about our education program in public schools, visit www.tfana.org/education.html.