STUDENTS across the UK will be getting a lesson from the RSC.
Schools will be given unprecedented access to the company’s Stratford rehearsal rooms as part of a new series of 45-minute Live Lessons.
The lessons for Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth will be streamed live and direct into classrooms up and down the country, giving students a unique insight into the creative process and interpretive choices directors and actors make as they prepare to stage a new production.
The lesson for for Romeo and Juliet will be broadcast on January 25, starting at 10.30am.
Led by Erica Whyman, RSC deputy artistic director and director of the forthcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, the lesson will provide an overview of the show’s concept before focussing on the famous balcony scene between Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers – the most watched and studied scene from the play.
Following an initial welcome and introduction, Erica will work with the actors to rehearse the balcony scene in different ways, exploring alternative approaches and questions which have come up for her cast in rehearsals.
Students will also be able to feedback and send in questions to be answered by Erica and the actors as part of a live Q&A at the end of the lesson.
Schools can register now at www.rsc.org.uk/education/live-lessons. Each school will receive resources to help them prepare in class beforehand.
As well as lesson plans and activities to do in the classroom, they will be sent a short film outlining the context and design concept for the show, as well as interviews with Erica and members of the cast.
Erica said: “Rehearsals are traditionally a sacred space for actors and directors where they can experiment, explore and try out different approaches before they are ready to perform their work in front of an audience.
“I hope that offering this very special access will give young people a real sense of the challenge and pleasures of bringing this amazing play to life.”
“Rehearsal rooms are spaces of intense learning – not dissimilar to a classroom – so giving students the chance to join us on our creative journey will not only give them a better understanding of Shakespeare’s play, but a real insight into how we arrive at some of the creative decisions and choices that we make.”
The second lesson will take place on April 19 and focus on Macbeth.
The RSC’s stage production of Romeo and Juliet will run from April 21 to September 21 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.