The Shakespeare Theatre Company will become a conservatory partnerof the William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School (WEDJ PCS) for the Performing Arts. Starting this fall, STC teaching artists will introduce students in kindergarten through eighth grade to theatre arts and the works of William Shakespeare. WEDJ PCS students will receive instruction in the art of reading, understanding and performing classical plays during this year-long partnership.
The curriculum for WEDJ PCS blends rigorous academics with world-class arts instruction provided by accomplished artists from renowned dance, musical, theatrical and visual arts institutions. WEDJ PCS is the only public school in Washington, D.C. to provide professional-caliber arts training for students in kindergarten through eighth grade at no cost to families. Through the theatre conservatory partnership with STC, students will improve comprehension skills and vocabulary, participate in ensemble building activities and build confidence in their ability to perform in front of an audience. Students will also have an opportunity to see STC’s full-length production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
STC’s theatre education at WEDJ PCS will be differentiated according to grade level. Students in kindergarten through second grade will learn about Shakespeare’s stories and characters through storybook adaptations of the plays. Third- through fifth-graders will read scenes from the plays, analyze the text, and perform scenes from the plays. Middle school students will read the plays, analyze the text, and perform condensed versions of the play on stage for their peers and families. All classes will incorporate movement, improvisation, and character creation and development.
“We believe every student in D.C. should have access to theatre and to Shakespeare,” said Vanessa Hope, STC’s School Programs Manager. “Our partnership with WEDJ is a highly-developed extension of that commitment. We are pleased to be working with this remarkable Pre-K through eighth grade school focused on Arts Learning.”