Teaching Shakespeare at Shivela Middle School in Murrieta, CA

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to teach three rounds (6 hours!) of “How to Become a Shakespearean Actor in 90 Minutes” for Mrs. Dana Conrad’s theater class at Shivela Middle School in Murrieta. I know it shouldn’t, but it still surprises me that 11 and 12 year olds can be such confident, intuitive, and overall excellent actors. A few of them were able to memorize and perform 60- to 75-word Shakespearean monologues with less than ten minutes of preparation. Well done, Dana. Your kids love the theater, which I’m sure is partly your doing.

http://www.murrieta.k12.ca.us/Domain/1075

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Rob Crisell is an author, actor, teacher, and Shakespearean in Temecula, CA. He teaches poetry and Shakespeare with the Murrieta Valley Union School District as part of its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. He is a Shakespeare lecturer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has acted in The Merchant of Venice, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Baskerville, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest (Prospero), Macbeth, Othello (Iago), and others. Over the quarantine, he has acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor (with Nathan Agin’s “A Working Actor’s Journey production) and King Lear (Quarantine Players). He has written and performed several one-man plays featuring Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Shakespeare in America. He’s the author of Shakespeare’s Book of Wisdom: Advice on Living a Wiser, Happier Life from William Shakespeare & Friends (DePortola Press 2018). His 2016 TED Talk is “How NOT to Hate Shakespeare.” His verse adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will be produced by Full Circle Players in Riverside, California in October 2020. He is a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. For details, visit www.robcrisell.com or www.facebook/robcrisellactor/.

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