Students discover Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Schools Festival in South Africa and Educape bring the Dream Up project in poor suburbs of Johannesburg : 400 children, aged 12 to 17, are taught the basic skills of acting. Their challenge is to be able to play Shakespeare’s work at the end of the year. Most kids live in tough conditions and discover the work of William Shakespeare for the first time of their lives.
During several weeks, these youngsters are coached by their professors alongside the Educape and SSF’s educational teams. They work on staging short versions of the great Shakespeare Classicals, such as Othello, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer’s night Dream…
Eventually, the shows are presented to the public and the families inside the schools and in other public places, including the Joburg and Soweto theaters. The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare this year and the numerous events organized worldwide are great opportunities to shed lights on the work of these kids !
Opening your mind while playing Shakespeare
Acting is a great way for these kids to escape from a tough reality. It brings them creativity, hindsight and openness. Playing the work of the greatest Writer in the English Language also allows the children to sharpen their English vocabulary, and to enhance their oral skills. Indeed for most of them the English Language is not a mother tongue: 11 official languages have coexisted for decades in South Africa, which is a living proof of the great cultural diversity of this country. Most importantly, it helps them believing in a brighter future by opening their consciousness to art.