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Teaching Will

What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me that Hollywood Couldn't

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


What happens when an idealist volunteers to introduce Shakespeare to a group of unruly kids? Bedlam. Tears. And hard lessons learned. Convinced that children can relate to Shakespeare's themes—power, revenge, love—Mel Ryane launches The Shakespeare Club at a public school. Teaching Will is a riotous cautionary tale of high hopes and goodwill crashing into the realities of classroom chaos.

Every week Mel encounters unexpected comedy and drama as she and the children struggle toward staging a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Woven through this fish-out-of-water tale is Mel's own story of her childhood aspirations, her acting identity, and the heartbreaking end of her onstage career.

In the schoolyard, Mel finds herself embroiled in jealousy and betrayal worthy of Shakespeare's plots. Fits of laughter alternate with wiping noses as she and the kids discover a surprising truth: they need each other if they want to face an audience and triumph. Teaching Will is an uplifting story of empowerment for dreamers and realists alike.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 14, 2014 – A Canadian-born actress, now based in L.A., finds unexpected delights in guiding a group of motley elementary schoolers through a performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Having transitioned in her career somewhat bitterly from stage acting to coaching actors for auditions, Ryane responded gallantly to a plea by her local California public school, largely Hispanic and poor, for programming help: her after-school Shakespeare Club attracted a dozen or so curious kids (several quit along the way), mostly girls, some more rambunctious than others, but all eager for a new experience even if they had never seen a play in their life. Mesmerized by the strange wonders of the Elizabethan era and the powerful effects of the stage, for example, being able to enact emotions that are censured in real life like anger and revenge, the children absorbed the difficult language, and even excelled. Using plenty of incentives like parties and hugs, Ryane had to negotiate the delicate business of unstable home lives; the children's penchant for potty humor, rendering a character called Bottom screechingly funny; and the fine art of casting. In her lively memoir reaching back to moments in her own acting career, Ryane manages both to be funny and not take herself too seriously, though the respect she instilled in the children is remarkable: respect for her direction, for each other, and for the genius of Shakespeare.
Teaching Will
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Aug 12, 2014
  • Publisher: Familius
  • Seller: Familius LLC
  • Print Length: 282 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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