Performing Shakespeare is a semester long for-credit class lead by Young Shakespeare Workshop teaching artists and currently offered in partnership with Cleveland High School. The class gives students a chance to gain credit during the school day, more importantly it is sometimes the only way some students can participate with YSW. The class is joined with after-school rehearsals so students not enrolled (or previously in the class) can also participate.
This class was first offered in 2015/16 as part of the First Folio celebrations at the Seattle Public Library on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. In 2016/17 it was linked with after-school rehearsals and has since produced King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice which went on to a remount summer production through Arts in Parks in 2019, and most recently, King John in 2020 just before the Covid shutdown.
Othello Mock Trials is a spring residency partnership with all of the Sophomore Humanities classes at Cleveland High School. Students work in small teams as the prosecution or defense putting Iago on trial for one of four separate murders. Text from the play is presented and reenacted as evidence along with opening and closing arguments. After several weeks preparation class teams vy with each other to win their cases in front of an invited jury.
The Othello project began with a single Cleveland Humanities teacher, Erin McIntosh, in 2012, and has since been handed down for over a decade to include all of the sophomore humanities teachers at Cleveland H.S.
Sonnets lecture/workshop has been mostly an annual event at Franklin High School for senior humanities students varying in length from one day to a week long residency. In the Franklin library small teams students grapple with understanding and performing a sonnet chosen from the 154 possibilities.
Over more than three decades, Young Shakespeare Workshop has worked closely with Language Arts/Humanities teachers to develop various in-class residency models for students studying a Shakespeare play. Length varies depending on depth of workshop and number of classes participating. Alumni often assisted with large in-class residencies to keep working groups small. In all models the goal is to get students up on their feet performing and owning their words. Alumni and current students sometimes perform for these classes, both to inspire and to model the work up-close.