Monday, June 18, 2007
shakespeare for kids
Yesterday I took my kids to a pre-pay program for kids run by http://www.newyorkclassical.org/ where the actors introduced kids to what they do, what the Shakespeare play they would be performing later in the evening was about, and where they played some games with the kids to get them interested. Unfortunately, we could not stay through the play (I’ve had bronchitis the past week), but my youngest kids (the two older ones stayed home) loved it and wanted to stay. In our little group there was another family with 3 kids, two of whom were in their early teens, who had my wife and I amazed. A boy of about 14-15 remembered one of the actors from a performance of As You Like It he had seen the year before; the same boy suggested a symbolic interpretation of something that in the play; another early-teen kid volunteered a correct interpretation of a difficult line the actor read; when asked what they thought the end of the play would be, one kid guessed everyone had to get married because it was a comedy – in tragedies everyone dies at the end (so true!). It is so refreshing to see kids who actually know stuff – who appreciate art and literature for its own sake and not just for a grade at school. Of course, these kids’ parents obviously have taken their kids to other Shakespearean performances and encourage their reading and thinking. But my wife and I also were wondering what school these kids went to, because without formal education to reinforce the experience, parental influence is not enough. And the follow up question we thought about is considering the small fortune we pay in tuition, are our kids getting the type education that can produce these results? I was warming up for a rant on this, but it’s not worth it - you know the answer.