Shakespeare is the only author mentioned by name in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, although since the 19th century, education systems have primarily emphasized his skill as a poet. We at the American Shakespeare Center believe his work continues to be relevant because of his status as the world’s greatest playwright; we also believe that students best appreciate Shakespeare’s wordcraft and stagecraft when they see his plays in performance in conjunction with their classroom studies.
The ASC On Tour is available for student performances and workshops during the school day:
ASC On Tour performances and workshops connect to Common Core State Standards in the following areas: Writing, History/Social Studies, Reading: Literature, Language, and Speaking & Listening
Our lights-on, pared-down style of performance makes Shakespeare’s plays accessible to students and closely relates to the style of exploration students experience in a classroom setting.
Each workshop is like one hour in a college classroom. The heart of what we offer in education springs from our Co-founder and Director of Mission, Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen, Gonder Professor of Shakespeare at Mary Baldwin College. Dr. Cohen is the author of ShakesFear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare.
We also offer Study Guides for teachers and have designed them with an eye towards meeting a variety of learning styles. Our acclaimed Study Guides provide teachers with comprehensive tools to explore the plays in the classroom, including handouts for students. From the basics of getting students out of their seats and thinking like early modern actors, to exploring historical context, staging challenges, and the intricacies of Shakespeare’s wordplay, to the challenge of assessment, ASC Study Guides give teachers a start-to-finish model for Shakespeare education.
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