"Shake It Up After School" is a collaboration between Title I Elementary Schools in Boise, Idaho, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Professor Matthew Hansen's undergraduate Shakespeare courses at Boise State University. This project enables undergraduates and elementary school students to explore the artistic, historical, and cultural importance of Shakespeare and to challenge assumptions that Shakespeare is a commodity reserved for cultural elites. Over the course of six weeks, elementary students read, discuss, rehearse, and perform a Shakespeare play. Doing so empowers them, it enhances their vocabulary, confidence, and teamwork skills, and it is a tremendous amount of fun. "Shake It Up After School" works specifically with Title I designation elementary schools because these schools serve economically struggling and culturally diverse populations. This project thus introduces and seeks to demystify an often culturally and artistically intimidating body of knowledge to a population for whom Shakespeare is potentially more likely to remain distant and out-of-reach.
During the 2013 season, the Shake It Up Team is proud to be working with Lowell Elementary, W.H. Taft Elementary, and Whittier Elementary to produce the play Henry V. One of Shakespeare's more exciting historical plays, Henry V is full of betrayal, battles, and brotherhood. Henry, a young English king, embarks on a journey to France where he starts a war for the throne culminating in the epic battle of Agincourt, where a vastly outnumbered English army courageously defeated the larger French force and forever changed the history of Europe.
We invite you to visit the sub-pages associated with each of these three schools so that you may view updates on the current season at each school site, familiarize yourself with each site's Shake It Up Team, and learn how you can help support the production from home.
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