The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble
Now in its twelfth year, the HUNTS POINT CHILDREN’S SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE is the product of an extraordinary collaborative effort between the Public Shakespeare Initiative and our community partner, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from local schools in Hunts Point spend an entire academic year learning about, rehearsing, and ultimately performing a Shakespeare play. In May, the Ensemble's teamwork, creativity, and commitment come together in a full production, complete with professionally designed sets, lights, costumes, props, a chorus, and live musicians.
Ensemble members work with the original text, learning to read, understand, speak, and memorize a Shakespeare play. The experience of working with Shakespeare also helps students develop broader and more complex intellectual, social, and emotional capacities, while strengthening practical skills such as speaking, listening, taking responsibility, teamwork, and generosity that will serve them throughout their lives.
This year, the Ensemble is working on The Tempest. Previous productions have included As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, The Hamlet Project, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.
Click here for more videos of the Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble.
TEACHING TEACHERS is an annual series of professional development workshops for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers across New York City that trains them in dynamic, performance-based approaches to Shakespeare's works.
Teacher training programs rarely include courses about teaching Shakespeare, yet many English teachers are required to teach Shakespeare throughout their careers. As a result, teachers often rely on traditional methods that treat the plays solely as literature, and require students to read and analyze at their desks.
Participating in Teaching Teachers workshops gives teachers the confidence and the knowledge to break out of this mold, and instead enable their students’ to experience the dazzling beauty and raw humanity of Shakespeare’s language through live performance.