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Cayman Drama Society: RSC Educational Visit by Royal Shakespeare Company

Caystage is excited to announce our week long Shakespeare visit with the Royal Shakespeare Company Education Team, with practitioners Fi and Lizzie! This takes place in April for a full week of Shakespeare interactions, and we can not wait.
Thanks to the generosity of the Aall Foundation, who fully funded the project costs, we were able to reschedule this much anticipated project from Easter 2020, and now it is right around the corner.

The project came about when Ms Kirsty, our resident acting coach, was studying her MA in Shakespeare and Education and partaking in an onsite course with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Previously, she had been looking into the limited performances of Shakespeare done in the region, in spite of the writer featuring in most curriculums. The Tempest had recently re-entered the Cayman Curriculum, and Shakespeare is common in both UK and US systems also. Caystage was offering free school workshops on English and Drama to support education in that respect, but she wondered if we could also inspire the teachers to feel confident engaging their students in Shakespeare? A recent survey had shown most teachers opt not to teach Shakespeare if there are other options, or do not feel confident in doing so, on top of a fear that students will not enjoy it in the first place. The RSC’s active approach to teaching Shakespeare has excellent results having been well studied and recorded to prove it’s success. And Ms Kirsty’s teenage class will tell you that they can ABSOLUTELY enjoy Shakespeare (in fact all of our age groups from 5 through adult have done two Shakespeare Festivals that we created now). So when Ms Kirsty was placed in a workshop group with one of the RSC Education Team, she asked if they would consider coming to Cayman for an educational project, and several discussions (a pandemic, a delay, and 3 years later) here we are!

As part of this exciting week we have a full day teacher training on Mon 4th April for Primary Teachers on interactive Shakespeare using the RSC’s famous rehearsal room pedagogy (this includes teachers from Lighthouse, CIS, Edna Moyle, Prospect, Creek and Spot Bay, East End, Footsteps, Cliffton Hunter, MBTS, Clever Fish, Island Montessori, Cayman Prep High School, Cayman Prep Primary, First Baptist, John Gray High, Cayman Learning Centre). All attending teachers will have lunch provided thanks to food sponsor Bread and Chocolate too.

Our very own acting classes at Caystage will be challenging their classical skills by tackling the texts in their regular class with Fi and Lizzie, with a performance-based approach, and we will also be visiting several schools throughout the week with tailored workshops for them (this includes workshops with Cayman Prep, Montesorri By The Sea, CIS, Clever Fish, John Gray, and the Lighthouse School).

This is a first for Cayman, and also for the RSC who have not yet extended their projects to this part of the world until now!

In true Cayman Kind spirit, we got accommodation for our practitioners sponsored by the newly renovated The Ritz-Carlton, and Red Sail Sports are taking the ladies on a stingray tour so they can truly see the best of our island when they are not busy engaging us with the Bard!

We are thrilled to be supporting literary education in Cayman through the arts, and know this will be an extremely beneficial trip for all those involved. We, again, thank the Aall Foundation for making it all possible, and to all the schools who said YES to our offerings in support of this mission.

If you are reading this as a school teacher whose school is not involved – contact Kirsty at [email protected] or [email protected] to ensure you do not miss any future opportunities. We personally contacted all schools, and the Ministry of Education also did so more than once on our behalf, but this doesn’t always mean everyone gets involved or that the message gets to the right department/person. We would love to increase our school mail list (especially of English and Drama teachers) for future skill-sharing, or school workshop opportunities so please, get in touch.


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