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In-School Programs

Our year-round education programs enrich the lives of young people in our community by nurturing an early appreciation for Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s texts are part of the core curriculum for all students, engaging students interactively and giving them the opportunity to live and breathe Shakespeare’s stories and characters.

Experience the stories of the greatest playwright of all time shared by teaching artists in your classroom. All workshops are taught by professional actors and teaching artists experienced in Shakespeare’s texts and history.

In addition to our own full compliment of classes, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is also proud member of Kansas City Arts Partners, a sequential arts-in-education program for grades K-12, integrating our community’s arts resources into the curriculum of Greater Kansas City area school districts.

Please contact Matt Rapport, Director of Education, at mrapport@kcshakes.org for information on pricing, scheduling a program, or to receive more information.

Shakespeare: Villains and Heroes
The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare: Villains and Heroes live at your school or organization. Our touring education performances nurture an appreciation for the art of theatre and the work of William Shakespeare. This program is intended to complement the work that is being done in the classroom, but is also an enjoyable hour of theatre for anyone. Students and others are provided with an experience that creates a unique world of the play and sheds light on the meaning of some of Shakespeare’s most influential texts.

Recommended for All Ages as an introduction to Shakespeare
Bard Basics is an exciting way to introduce elementary school students to the Elizabethan world through the eyes of William Shakespeare. Professional teaching artists will lead students in a presentation with the fairies from A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Additionally, Shakespeare’s life and times will be shared interactively with your students.

Curricular Standards: 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 11.2, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.5, 14.7
English Language Arts: CCSS.SL.K-6
Bard Basics Teacher Guide

En garde, Bard! Stage Combat
Teaching artists, who are also trained combatants, will come to your classroom or gymnasium and provide an interactive presentation of stage combat techniques. The elements of acting with combat will be fully and safely explored utilizing scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Students will engage and bring the text to life with professional supervision.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 1.8, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.6, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.5
Theater Arts Education: NS.CS#2.6-12
En Garde Bard Teachers’ Guide

Romeo and Juliet: Fortune’s Fools
Teaching artists interactively bring to life the story of Romeo and Juliet. Students will be given the opportunity to role play alongside the teaching artists and use their imaginations to tell Shakespeare’s tale. Problem-solving skills will be explored in depth as the students turn the tables and decide what could have happened next. Students will work in small groups to focus closely on specific aspects of the play.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 1.2, 1.8, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.5, 14.7
English Language Arts: CCSS.SL,3-10.1
Romeo and Juliet Teachers’ Guide

Shakespeare Off the Cuff: The Art of Improvisation
Shakespeare Off the Cuff is an introduction to the world of improvisational acting. Every student will get on their feet and work with their classmates to learn the basics of creating characters, gaining self-confidence and utilizing their creativity. Students will participate in acting games that do not rely on any scripts – the magic lies in their own imaginations.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 1.3, 1.5, 1.9, 6.7, 7.2,7.3, 7.4, 14.3, 14.5, 14.7
English Language Arts: CCSS.SL.4-12.1
Theater Arts Education: NS.CS#2.4-12
Shakespeare Off the Cuff Teachers’ Guide

Hamlet: The Play’s the Thing! 
This interactive workshop prepares students for the study of Hamlet by exploring the famous quotes in Hamlet. Students will work together with professional actors to find the meanings of the lines and how to perform them. This program is perfect for any class that is beginning the study of Hamlet.

Common Core State Standards covered: RL.6-12.2, 4, 5, 7
Hamlet Teachers’ Guide

Julius Caesar: The Art of Argumentation! 
The story of Julius Caesar is a dynamic backdrop for students to explore the power of persuasion and reality of rhetoric. Professional teaching artists offer an inspiring glimpse into the world of the play. Students will work in smaller groups to come up with their own version of the events of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 1.2, 1.8, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.5, 14.7
English Language Arts: CCSS.SL.7-12
Theater Arts Education: CCSS.NS#2.7-12
Julius Caesar Teachers’ Guide

Sonnet ShakeUP
Sonnet ShakeUP is a writing workshop offered to prepare students for participation in the Festival’s annual sonnet contest. Teaching artists will present a brief history of Shakespeare’s life and his sonnets. The elements of how to write a sonnet will then be presented. Teachers will receive all of the preparation materials needed to enter their students in our sonnet competition.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 7.2, 11.2, 14.5
English Language Arts: CCSS.L.4-12
Sonnet ShakeUP Teachers’ Guide

Poster Prep
Poster Prep is a workshop designed for art classes as a launching point for our yearly poster contest. Teaching artists will bring to life the upcoming Festival production. Students will interactively brainstorm the possibilities for illustrating the story they have seen. Teachers will receive all the materials needed to enter their students in the Poster Contest.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning National Standards: 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.2, 11.2, 14.5, 15.1, 15.4, 15.6
English Language Arts: CCSS.SL.4-12.5
Poster Prep Teachers’ Guide