David Tennant, David Bradley & More RSC Actors Give Homework Help to Coincide With Thank a Teacher Day
With no set date for schools to fully reopen in the UK, thousands of young people and families are continuing to home school. The #RSCHomeworkHelp initiative has received hundreds of questions from young people studying Shakespeare in the UK and around the world. Questions range from 'do you have any advice for performing on Zoom?', 'how would you update the servants in Romeo and Juliet?' to 'if Julius Caesar was a radio play, how would you stage the assassination scene?' and 'Which sister is worse, Goneril or Regan?'
RSC Actors and alumni have been helping to answer the questions including RSC Associate Artist, David Tennant, who responded to a question about his favourite Hamlet soliloquy. Actors including David Bradley, Paapa Essiedu, Niamh Cusack, Charlotte Arrowsmith and Noma Dumezweni have offered homework help to students. The actors, who are currently unable to rehearse or perform, have volunteered to share their tips and answer questions about Shakespeare and drama studies whilst under lockdown.
Due to the success of the initiative #RSCHomeworkHelp will continue into the summer term and new questions can be sent from June 1st either by email to email@example.com or via twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RSCHomeworkHelp. The actors will then respond to the students' questions through a mixture of written and video responses which will all shared on the RSC website.
See further #RSChomeworkhelp Q&As HERE.
See example activity toolkits HERE.
The Toolkits help those new to Shakespeare or young people looking for ways to extend their GCSE learning. They are suitable for all ages to unlock the plays' language, themes, characters and plots.
Each toolkit contains 20 fifteen-minute activities which range from watching actors in rehearsal, recreating Duncan's murder scene or making puppets, to recording voxpops, creating storyboards, arranging fight scenes or choreographing a dance for the Capulet's Ball in Romeo and Juliet. The first RSC Activity Toolkits are now available for free on the RSC's website and focus on some of Shakespeare's best-known plays, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth, plus Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice, which are all available to see on BBC iPlayer. The RSC is working with education partner Adobe to include digital activities in the toolkits to be launched over the coming weeks.
Young people are invited to post activities completed from the toolkits online as part of the RSC's #ShareyourShakespeare - an invitation for people everywhere to come together and celebrate Shakespeare and his plays online.
OTHER NEW INITIATIVES FROM RSC EDUCATION
The RSC is also continuing to support home-schoolers and learners in the following ways:
BBC Bitesize: The RSC will deliver a further week of GCSE lesson plans themed around Shakespeare's Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet as part of the BBC's ongoing Bitesize programme. The week starts on Monday 15 - Friday 19 June. There will be daily Shakespeare lessons for Year 10 students and special insights from RSC actors and directors about how to decode Shakespeare's language and bring the plays to life for today's audiences.
Culture in Quarantine. The RSC has also teamed up with the BBC as part of its 'Culture in Quarantine' programme. Six RSC productions (chosen to link to the school curriculum and supported by the Activity Toolkits) are now available to view for free on iPlayer: The plays include Hamlet, Macbeth; Much Ado About Nothing; Othello; Romeo and Juliet; and The Merchant of Venice.
EXISTING RESOURCES TO SUPPORT HOME LEARNING
The RSC also has a number of existing resources that can be used to support home learning including:
Shakespeare Learning Zone - games, videos, timelines, character, plot summaries and more help to unlock the plays rsc.org.uk/shakespeare-learning-zone
Live Lessons: The RSC's Live Lessons on Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet are available for you to watch and take part in at any time. There are also a number of Primary and Secondary lessons co-produced by the RSC and the BBC that can be watched at any time. Click here for more information.
RSC's YouTube channel: contains a selection of educational videos including introductions to language terms such as iambic pentameter, actor-lead tutorials exploring the techniques they use to get to grips with a text and full online performances including Tim Crouch's I, Cinna.
Teacher resources are free to download from the RSC website including teacher packs by play and Key Stage.
Students and schools/colleges can also take advantage of an extended trial of Drama Online before the end of May 2020, featuring twenty-two titles from The RSC Live Collection. Home-educators can also access up to seventeen RSC productions in partnership with Digital Theatre + alongside supporting resources including backstage insights, practitioner interviews, written analysis and over 450+ productions of the world's finest theatre.