The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., has become a conservatory partner of the William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School (WEDJ PCS) for the Performing Arts. Starting this fall, STC teaching artists will introduce students in kindergarten through eighth grade to theater arts and the works of William Shakespeare. WEDJ PCS students will receive instruction in reading, understanding, and performing classical plays during this yearlong partnership.
The curriculum for WEDJ PCS blends rigorous academics with world-class arts instruction provided by accomplished artists from renowned dance, musical, theatrical, and visual arts institutions. WEDJ PCS is the only public school in Washington, D.C., to provide professional-caliber arts training for students in kindergarten through eighth grade at no cost to families. Through the theater conservatory partnership with STC, students will improve comprehension skills and vocabulary, participate in ensemble-building activities, and build confidence in their ability to perform in front of an audience. Students will also have an opportunity to see STC’s full-length production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
STC’s theater education at WEDJ PCS will be geared to different grade levels. Students in kindergarten through second grade will learn about Shakespeare’s stories and characters through storybook adaptations of the plays. Third- through fifth-graders will read scenes from the plays, analyze the text, and perform scenes. Middle school students will read the plays, analyze the text, and perform condensed versions on stage for their peers and families. All classes will incorporate movement, improvisation, and character creation and development.
“We believe every student in DC should have access to theater and to Shakespeare,” Vanessa Hope, STC’s school programs manager, said in a press release. “Our partnership with WEDJ is a highly developed extension of that commitment.”
September 6, 2012