Shakespeare in the Schools Tour

King Lear

GableStage’s flagship education program, Shakespeare in the Schools Tour, presents an abridged and adapted version of a Shakespeare play to middle and high schools in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public School’s Cultural Passport Program. In 2022, KING LEAR will be adapted and directed by FIU Associate Professor and Shakespeare scholar, Phillip Church. The script will be edited to run under an hour, in order to be presented within a single class period, and a group of 7-8 professional actors will portray principal characters, sometimes in dual roles.

KING LEAR examines the multifarious spectrum of man’s condition, the most unsettling being his capacity to inflict immeasurable cruelty on his fellow man and his inability to see the truth of his own actions. As the nation begins to turn the page on a tumultuous chapter, the arts have been given an opportunity to reflect and weigh upon the collective and individual responses to political and social turmoil. As artists and teachers, we have the opportunity to dive into the heart’s core of our own present-day history to examine our political, social and moral values. We could not be served by a better time in which to guide young people toward that deeper place within themselves where, through their own experiences, they are encouraged to share ideas and solutions to bring about a lasting healing.

The play will be set in a contemporary setting, allowing for the director, dramaturg, and actors to find moments within the text to connect to the audience of students through relevant interactions such as props, added or adlibbed text, or visual representations. Costumes, props, and a traveling set will be created to serve the script.

This project strives to:

1) expose culturally underserved students to an important work that may speak to their lives or the world today

2) engage the students with an innovative theatrical performance

3) allow the students to hear Shakespeare’s words out loud in a creative manner rather than read in a classroom

4) create a conversation around the historical elements of the production versus the storytelling devices used.

As a mobile, traveling production, GableStage Shakespeare in the Schools Tour focuses on generating the best production value while minding and addressing the challenges of unknown spaces of all shapes, sizes, and styles. Through the enhanced use of technology such as video projections and screens, in conjunction with creative costumes and props, the production will be a contemporary staging, visually entertaining, and appealing to students.

Through this program, GableStage contributes to curriculum tools allowing educators to present Shakespeare in a new and exciting way, outside of the classroom. This production will encourage audience participation much like original productions of Shakespeare’s work. It is GableStage’s intent to not only bring the characters to life on stage but to allow the students to fully experience the story themselves through guided participation. It is part of GableStage’s mission to create engaged and informed audiences for the future, but not limit the students’ natural responses and willingness to engage with the show. 

Each performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the cast, focusing on the themes discussed in the play as well as careers in the arts. A visual study guide will be created to accompany the production. The study guide ties Shakespeare, specifically KING LEAR, to various subjects in order to give educators the flexibility to use the guide in conjunction with curriculum across subjects. The guide also focuses on highlighting the relevant and contemporary themes of the play as they relate to students today.

The Shakespeare in the Schools Tour is presented free-of-charge to schools and students, as well as to the community at large attending non-school venue performances. The mission of the program is to keep it free to remove any economic barriers to attendance. This has been accomplished year after year.

WHEN/WHERE

The Shakespeare in the School Tour will take place at Miami-Dade County Public High Schools in the Spring (between March 1st – 30th , 2022). Schools are invited to reserve live performances onsite. The total performance and Q&A time will not exceed 90 minutes.

Reservations for the tour are currently open.

Please use the following link to register and reserve a performance for your school. Please direct any questions or concerns to:

Chandra Maye

cmaye@gablestage.org

305-446-1116