Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Macbeth


This is how homeschooling works for me...  
...Kim and I were chatting during one of our Tuesday dinners about Shakespeare.  I might have been telling her about seeing Merry Wives of Windsor in Manhattan a few weeks ago.  She mentioned to me that she remembered reading Macbeth in high school and would love to see the play someday.  She loved that it had witches, ghosts, murder, insanity, suicide.  A comedy it is not.
Two weeks later I get an email from her that Macbeth was being performed in New Haven for free!  A flurry of emails later, and we had four families, a grandparent and a neighbor all sharing blankets, popcorn, wine and brie and bug spray!
The week leading up to the play was spent familiarizing ourselves with the play.  We saw The Merry Wives of Windsor with no prep work and while I enjoyed this, it was hard for the girls, and I wanted them to understand the deeper themes of Macbeth.  This is not a play for the faint of heart.  
We began with a read aloud by one of our favorite authors Bruce Coville.  I read it to the children during art journaling class Monday since all the children there would be attending the play.  It was a dark and stormy afternoon, perfect for this story.  I tried my best to use character voices and do the story justice.

BBC Animated Shakespeare’s version of Macbeth is superb.  Although it is a cartoon, the story and the animation is not dumbed down at all for children.  The battles are fierce and the beheading bloody.  My girls were most concerned about the naked baby ghost that appears out of the weird sister’s cauldron.  Naked.  It caused giggles.  



It also inspired Lilah to make a page in her art journal about Macbeth.  Love this page Lilah!  

Finally Friday came and Greg was able to attend the play with us.  I love that he is so open to these adventures!  Unfortunately, he was not able to join in for the lessons that led up to the performance.  This is how I “quiz” my children.  I asked Lilah and her friend Tristan to update Greg on what he should expect to see.  With just a few minor omissions, they were able to tell Greg the story line.  



The play was performed by Elm Shakespeare Company  in a beautiful park in New Haven.  We were blessed with a warm night and a Blue Moon to accompany Shakespeare’s words.  Of course, no performance is the same without wonderful friends to share it with. 
I wonder what our next play will be?  




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