Newsletter No.3: A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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[IMAGE] A character from Taming of the Shrew balances a pile of books in outstretched hands whilst wearing a mortar board

I have had a most rare vision...

Is it really June already? Many of you will now be planning for an autumn term that will hold specific challenges in learning delivery. In response to this we have been devising a range of online student workshops, storytelling events and CPD sessions to support you in September and beyond. We'll spotlight these offers in July's bulletin, but in the meantime please contact us for more information

In a month where the changing lockdown rules have meant a return to the classroom for some of you, or where social distanced classroom or online teaching are now becoming the 'new normal', it seems fitting that we explore a play concerned with metamorphosis and infinite juxtaposition.  

A Midsummer Night's Dream has been interpreted in many ways in its time, from an uplifting comedy to a surreal and dark nightmare. This month's resources, videos and blogs invite you to consider the play and its characters through multiple lenses.

YouTube Premiere.

Our raucous 2013 performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of Artistic Director Michelle Terry's early appearances at Shakespeare's Globe, is now available for you and your students to stream for free until Sunday 28 June.

The production is accompanied by an introductory talk by Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, where she discusses the symbolism of the setting in the play.

Spotlight on A Midsummer Night's Dream Resources.

Explore lesson plans for text, language, themes, context and character for A Midsummer Night's Dream for Key Stages Three, Four and Five from our Teach Shakespeare website.   

Teaching lessons on context? Read about Shakepeare's playhouses and the way they impacted on performance, with specific reference to A Midsummer Night's Dream, in this blog post.   

Paul Higgins discusses the character development of Oberon and Theseus as part of his adopt an actor discussions about playing these roles at the Globe.   

After watching the 2013 stream, students can explore multiple interpretations by comparing sections to clips of key scenes from our 2012 production.  

Investigate character with this range of activities focusing on Shakespeare's use of comedy and the portrayal of Bottom's character.  

Dive into the surreal world of A Midsummer Night's Dream as Dr Will Tosh explores the symbolism of dreams in the early modern era in this blog that is well suited to A Level students.  

Getting involved - active challenges for students.

Did you know that Shakespeare set A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Athens and a nearby wood, but it's very likely he based the wood's description on the Warwickshire countryside where he grew up? 

This edition's creative challenge is for students with an eye for design and a heart connected to ecology and our planet. Download our Nature and A Midsummer Night's Dream Set Design challenge brief here and encourage your students to practice their researching skills and to get creative.  

For younger learners.

Watch Puck's comical transformation of Bottom into a donkey as told by our colourful playground characters.  

Looking for resources for younger children or for the whole family? Swing open the gates and explore our new look Playground.   

Teaching history or drama? Learn about life in Tudor England with one of our playground factsheets.  

Stretch and challenge (or just enjoy)

Michelle Terry and Paul Ready discuss their thoughts about A Midsummer Night's Dream in the latest edition of our Shakespeare Diaries.  

Focus on Hippolyta and her Amazonian heritage in our Artistic Director's blog, Exploring the Amazon, where she explores the history of the role she played in 2013.  

Re-visit Season Three of our Such Stuff podcast to consider different interpretations of the play through exploring both the 'Radical Optimism' and the 'Dark side of the Dream' in detail.  

Other opportunities.

Are you teaching tragedies rather than comedies this half term? If so, don't forget that our Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of Macbeth, created especially for young people, is still available for you and your students to stream for free.

Our Telling Tales Together series is a fantastic way for families to learn about Shakespeare together. We have online workshops and storytelling sessions running from now through the summer and soon we'll be adding more workshops for individual students aged 12+ and 15+.   

Michelle Terry's Thought of the Week

This edition's Thought of the Week, Remember thee!, is a consideration of the impact of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations being held across the Globe currently. 

In it, Michelle considers whether we learn from history and what we can do to make sure we educate ourselves and engender change within our lifetimes.

And finally.

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