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Globe Education launches Playing Shakespeare website

Theatre news

GLOBE Education at Shakespeare’s Globe has published a free set of online learning resources supporting creative approaches to teaching Shakespeare at Key Stage 3 and providing a fascinating insight into a behind-the-scenes production at Shakespeare’s Globe.

The website, www.playingshakespeare.org, forms part of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project, Globe Education’s flagship schools’ programme which starts this week at Shakespeare’s Globe.

As part of the scheme, which has run for the last five years, over 50,000 students from 69% of London schools have been given free tickets to a professional Shakespeare production at Shakespeare’s Globe, commissioned especially for young audiences and supported with additional school and teacher CPD workshops.

As well as providing creative learning materials for those students from every Borough across the capital attending this year’s Macbeth at the Globe, the website is a valuable resource for schools across the UK.

The website provides teachers with a wealth of imaginative ways to engage students with the language, characters and themes of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Resources include an interactive text, a social networking style site for the play’s characters, and a forum to encourage students to debate themes and issues on a discussion board.

Through its Text in Performance section, the site also gives an insight into how a professional theatre production is created. It features diary entries, photographs and video interviews with members of the cast and creative team throughout the design, rehearsal and production processes. Although designed primarily for use at Key Stage 3, the resources are applicable at other levels of study.

Visits to the website supporting last year’s production increased by 51.12% on the 2009 figures, demonstrating a growing appetite for high-quality online learning resources. One of the teachers who used the website with her students last year described it as “invaluable. It has loads of engaging and original ideas – a massive bonus!”

Playing Shakespeare has been generously supported by Deutsche Bank since its inception in 2007. Colin Grassie, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank in the UK, commented:

“At Deutsche Bank, we believe that culture can ignite young people’s passion to learn and spur them on to exceptional achievements. We’ve worked with Globe Education for almost a decade on exciting projects like this to help open up a new world to students in London.”

The Playing Shakespeare production of Macbeth runs at Shakespeare’s Globe until March 11, 2011.