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Divergent: Coffee and Conversation

A few weeks ago, Veronica Roth’s book Divergent hit the big screen.  In God’s providence, that morning I also happened to be in the same town as Hayley, our intrepid intern-turned-exec-assistant, who is now a student at Boyce College.  So, we slid up to the table in a local coffee house, got a couple of […]

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Shakespeare: life, theater and historical context

Here are some resources that weave together the life of the bard with the world he lived in, how the plays were produced, and what became of his second-best bed after he died. All of these resources cover pretty much the same material, the primary difference being the age of the intended audience. I have […]

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Teaching Shakespeare: Quick Tips and a Download

Here are the quick tips: Don’t be afraid. Learn the stories first. Read or watch exciting scenes from a play rather than tackling an entire play cold. Find good community or college performances or watch a good movie version (watch for our movie list next week). Read the plays out loud, together. Don’t be afraid. […]

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Calling All Poets: It’s a Shakespearean Sonnet Contest!

Most people think of Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, or another of Shakespeare’s plays when they hear the name of William Shakespeare. But our favorite bard was a well established poet as well. His form of choice: the sonnet. (Incidentally, this was the form of choice for most Renaissance poets.) Since April is National Poetry Month, it is doubly […]

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Book Bits: Shakespeare Online

The words “Shakespeare Online” is almost an embarrassment of riches—so many links it’s hard to sort through them all, and I didn’t.  Today we have a representation of some good places to go for information, interest, and even fun, but it might be just a starting point. The Folger Library, opened in 1932, includes the […]

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Step Right in to Will’s One-Stop: a Puzzler and a Contest

So, how well to you know your Shakespeare?  There are 21 references in this picture, each connected to a Shakespeare play.  Some of them are obvious, but what’s the specific reference?  For example, you’ll notice the Rude Mechanicalz have a new CD called “Midsummer Night’s Dreamin’,”—obviously a connection to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but who […]

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It’s Party Time! How to wish Will a happy 450th

Can you throw a party by the end of the month?  With at least 10 guests?  If so, you may be eligible to win a grand prize box of goodies from Redeemed Reader.  (More about prizes later.) But wait! think’st thou.  Parties take a lot of planning and expense and just plain work—and more than […]

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The Playmaker by (our very own) J. B. Cheaney

When I first read this book, I did not know Janie personally. I knew of her from WORLD Magazine, but it took a flyer at my local library for me to discover her middle grades fiction. I managed to finagle a face-to-face meet-up with Janie when she came to town for a Shakespeare Festival (and, like all […]

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Introducing Shakespeare’s Plays to Children

Should you wait until your children are in high school before expecting them to tackle Shakespeare? Why not start them young, while they love learning words and listening to stories, while memorizing is easy for them? They might as well, because as Janie observed yesterday, we’re surrounded by Shakespeare in literature and culture, and our children might […]

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Why Shakespeare? A Rationale for Revelry

This month we’re having a party: not with cake and ice cream but with words showered like confetti.  Since our honoree was possibly the greatest English wordmaster who ever lived, he would probably appreciate the words even more than the ice cream, especially since the latter was unknown in his time.  But lots of kids […]

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Book Bits, March 31, 2014

Special announcement!  Today is the last day of March, and that’s not the announcement.  Tomorrow, besides being April Fool’s Day, is the beginning of the month in which William Shakespeare was born, 450 years ago!    Lord willing and Lord tarrying, our kids will probably live to see his 500th birthday, but we might not, so […]

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