Students will generally enjoy being given the opportunity to visit the theatre instead of sitting in class, even if seeing Shakespeare isn’t exactly something they would do in their own time. Of course, there are benefits that come with seeing a production that go beyond giving everyone a break from the classroom.
It’s always possible to find a production of Shakespeare relatively close by – here are just three reasons why you should arrange a trip with your children.
- They’ll Hear the Language
One of the biggest issues that students face with Shakespeare is simply being able to understand what is being said. The dialogue is full of Elizabethan references and words that have since fallen out of use, and it’s harder to pick up the meaning when you’re reading the lines instead of hearing them. A good actor will be able to imply meaning and keep the lines flowing, making it easier to understand their original intent.
- They’ll Take in the Play as a Whole
Few GCSE students will actually go to the effort of reading the whole play they’re studying from cover to cover in one sitting. They’ll usually be reading the play a couple of scenes at a time, then perhaps have some additional reading for homework. This can work well when they’re digging into the deeper meanings beneath each scene, but it’s also beneficial to see the play performed as a whole. Students will be able to understand the way the play is paced and see how characters grow throughout the plot.
- They’ll Be Exposed to New Perspectives
Though the words on the page will remain consistent, each production of a certain play will be unique. The director may have chosen to update the setting to modern times, use very minimal props and costumes, or have an antagonist played in a more sympathetic manner. You might even find a more abstract production of a famous Shakespeare play, with just a couple of people playing all the parts and no investment in props at all. These variations encourage your children to consider each play as something that can be thought about and expressed in different ways.