Gamm Theatre's MACBETH PROJECT Education Program Launches
The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm) Education Department is in the classroom at10 area middle- and high schools, where "The Macbeth Project" is augmenting standard curriculum with dynamic teaching tools. The collaboration between Gamm teaching artists and educators in select Pawtucket, Central Falls and Providence public and charter schools (see list below) is supported by a prestigious $25,000 Shakespeare in American Communities grant managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The grant allows students in participating "Macbeth Project" classes to attend a weekday matinee performance of The Gamm's upcoming production of Macbeth, from March 5 through April 17, free of charge or at a significantly reduced cost. It also helps pay for accompanying in-school residencies, workshops and post-performance discussions.
Gamm teaching artists, including Education Director Steve Kidd and Education and Outreach Coordinator Susie Schutt, are conducting 10-week units in 16 individual classrooms for a total of 160 visits. In addition to the script, students are studying poetry by World War I soldiers and poets--the time period in which The Gamm's production will be set. Students are also writing personal responses to the play's characters and themes.
At the conclusion of each 10-week unit, individual classrooms will perform an abridged version of the play for fellow students and family members. Students from all participating schools will present parts of their plays for each other in a final gathering at Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence in mid-April (exact date and time to be announced). An exciting Instagram project is also underway: Using #gammacbeth, students are posting 15-second videos of themselves performing lines from the play. The general public is also encouraged to participate.
"We have been delighted by such an enthusiastic response from the teachers we have approached to work with us, and are excited to share this timeless text and our production at The Gamm with a new generation," said Schutt, who is managing the project. "The students are really connecting with the classic work in very personal ways, and bringing it to life in their classrooms."
Participating "Macbeth Project" schools include:
- Central Falls High School
- Charles E. Shea Senior High
- Classical High School
- CVS Highlander Charter School
- Jacqueline Walsh School for the Arts
- Nathan Bishop Middle School
- Paul Cuffee School
- Roger Williams Middle School
- Samuel Slater Junior High
- William E. Tolman Senior High