While our stages have been silent, our actors have spent a busy summer supporting students in the UK and elsewhere with studying Shakespeare.
Actors who are unable to rehearse or perform on stage have been volunteering to support students, parents and teachers with their Shakespeare studies throughout the summer.
Around the world
Our #RSCHomeworkHelp initiative, launched in May, saw over 100,000 people from Australia to New York, Indianapolis and Tanzania, receive advice on performing and studying Shakespeare from RSC actors.
David Tennant talked about his favourite Hamlet soliloquy, Adjoa Andoh described ways in which Shakespeare can speak to us today's turbulent world, Paapa Essiedu gave students a masterclass in making characters their own and David Bradley shared his tips about how to get into theatre.
In the UK
We ran an online Playmaking Festival featuring young people aged 7-19 from across the country responding to The Taming of the Shrew, and made a film with our Next Generation Act young company about the experience of lockdown, inspired by Boccacio’s The Decameron (above).
Actors from our current company worked with our network of 12 regional partner theatres and 261 Associate Schools on distanced learning projects, including:
- Blackpool: Joseph Kloska, who was due to appear as Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, supported GCSE students from Highfields Academy in study of Macbeth
- Bradford: Andrew French, who was due to play Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale, worked with Bradford College to lead an online Q&A session on Romeo and Juliet, with students for whom English is a second language
- Canterbury: ‘Ask An Actor’ sessions with Joseph Arkley, who recently appeared in The Taming of the Shrew for students of The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury’s Youth Theatre and Associate School
- Hull: A ‘Routes into Acting’ Q&A with actor Laura Elsworthy (The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It) for students of St Mary’s College, Hull
- Nottingham: Actors worked with teachers from primary schools to explore how they could use The Tempest to improve pupils’ literacy
We also created extra digital resources for home learning, including a ‘Live Lesson’ of Macbeth which 33,000 young people watched, and worked with BBC Bitesize to develop daily Shakespeare Lessons for KS3 and 4 which drew more than 280,000 users.