Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Teachers learn, with Shakespeare, ‘the play’s the thing’

Dance instructor Sian Williams leads a group of teachers in a jig Saturday evening on the Jackson Hall stage at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The teachers visited UC Davis to learn new techniques for teaching Shakespeare to their middle school, high school and community college students. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | January 18, 2012 | Leave Comment

Shakespeare got a physical workout at the Mondavi Center last weekend as teachers learned how to get their students “into the act,” so to speak.

Some 80 teachers and representatives from leading Shakespeare festivals and theaters — including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London — gathered for a three-day conference at UC Davis that covered effective methods for teaching Shakespeare in middle schools, high schools and community colleges.

Titled “Shakespeare Works When Shakespeare Plays,” the workshops included many hands-on, theater-centered activities.

As many scholars have noted, Shakespeare didn’t publish his plays during his lifetime — he intended for them to be spoken aloud and performed, not read silently in a quiet room in a solitary manner. And as many teachers have found, when students experience Shakespeare in an active, participatory manner, they are much more likely to “get it.”

“We want (participating teachers) up on their feet,” said Patrick Spottiswoode, director of education for Shakespeare’s Globe, adding that “Shakespeare’s scripts were written to be played.”

And the more students participate in the performance-type classroom situation, “the more students will take ownership” of Shakespeare’s characters, language and stories.

The workshops included activities that were, well, playful. Teacher Linda Darling of Highlands High School in Sacramento County’s Twin Rivers School District explained, “We started with the letter O, and then presented it with anger, with surprise, with scolding. … It was very hands on. We were always up and moving.”

Mike Mahoney, an English teacher at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento County’s San Juan School District, said he appreciated the emphasis on “treating the plays as scripts” that provide an opportunity for active learning by his students, “not as archaic texts to comb through” in a dry discussion.

Carrie Pilon of Davis, who teaches at Harper Junior High, said she enjoyed the “wonderful exercises and activities that will help me engage my students in the richness of the language … especially the fun of the language.”

Pilon said that the key is “helping students get over their ‘Oh, it’s Shakespeare!’ apprehension.” She said once they recognize the wordplay that is inherent in almost every Shakespeare play, they start enjoying what they’re doing.

“Shakespeare’s plays were not meant to be read on the page,” Pilon concurred.

Several of the events took place in the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, and retired UCD Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef was on hand for some of the sessions, smiling as he saw the teachers participating in dance excercises and other activities.

Don Roth, the Mondavi Center’s executive director, greeted the teachers at a reception and noted that UCD and Shakespeare’s Globe in London have a relationship that extends back to 2003.

A touring company of the Shakespeare’s Globe presented a sold-out performance of “Love’s Labours Lost” at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall in November 2009. Roth said he’s keen on bringing another touring production by Shakespeare’s Globe to Mondavi, when the opportunity arises.

Harold Levine, dean of the UC Davis School of Education, which co-sponsored the event, said, “The arts in California education are on life support right now” because of huge reductions in state funding for the public schools.

“This workshop conference is a small way we can breathe life back into the arts in our classrooms,” he said.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Author discusses memoirs of Appalachia at The Avid Reader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20