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Shakescenes is a combination performance and residency aimed at demystifying Shakespeare and his works that we find is best received by 4th and 5th grade students. Students learn the social and historical context of Shakespeare's world and tools for understanding his plays through in-class exercises and games. Through examining Shakespeare's text in class, students also learn the stories of his plays. These exercises help remove roadblocks that might otherwise impede the students' appreciation of Shakespeare later on, demonstrating how fun and exciting his works really are. The performance component brings four members of Burning Coal's professional acting troupe into the school to conclude the week with a high-energy, high-impact show that puts the tools the students have learned during the week into lively, exciting, funny action! Our fun, interactive show presents excerpts from some of Shakespeare's most beloved plays and is made available for the whole school to enjoy.

Artist Background

Burning Coal Theatre Company is a professional, non-profit [501 (c) (3)] theatre company that has served the triangle for twenty years. Its mission is to produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experienced, not simply seen. Its education program has reached thousands of students over the course of its existence and emphasizes literacy, empowerment, and personal growth through the arts. The groundbreaking program SHAKESCENES, which demystifies Shakespeare's works for students, has been showcased at the State of Arts and Culture in Wake County event.

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