Raphael Holinshed. Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. London, 1577 (Detail).
Janet Field-Pickering, Folger Shakespeare Library, Head of Education 1996-2000.
What's On for Today and Why
The length of Shakespeare's plays is enough to strike terror into the hearts of most students, especially ones who expect "the two-hours' traffic of our stage" promised by the Prologue in Romeo and Juliet. Taking inspiration from The Reduced Shakespeare Company's hilarious and brief The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Cam Magee, an actor and dramaturg from Washington, D.C., we present our own very concise version of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
This lesson will take one class period.
What You Need
Folger edition of Macbeth
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts
Not necessary, but fun:
Borgeson, Jess, et al. The Reduced Shakespeare Company's
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
(Abridged). New York: Applause Books, 1999.
The 32 Second Macbeth
What To Do
1. Make nine photocopies of the handout—one each for Macbeth and the eight other actors.
2. Have nine volunteers take their places at the front of the room. Assign roles and let the actors read through the script once, for rehearsal. Then get out your stopwatch and see if your students can make or break the 32-second record. When the script indicates that a character dies, the actor must hit the floor.
3. Then select nine more volunteers to see if the second group can beat the first group's record. Again, give them a practice run before timing, and cheer for the winners.
4. If you wish, ask your students, in groups, to create their own 32-second versions of one act from Macbeth or another complete Shakespeare play. Along with selecting short and punchy lines to highlight the plot, they need to pick the characters that they want to include in their scripts. For example, in "The 32-second Macbeth," Actors 1–8 are, respectively, the witches, Duncan, Lady Macbeth, Banquo, Macduff's son, and Macduff.
How Did It Go?
Did your students have fun? If you asked them to write their own 32-second versions, were they able to identify and incorporate key lines and characters into effective scripts?
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.
Traci October 6, 2014 7:27 AM
very good lesson for student. 1 support it. http://bibi-78.tumblr.com/
susi September 29, 2014 4:02 AM
Just read your blog and like it too much. It makes me immense pleasure as I have subscribed the site for future posts. I will now complete many pending projects of my institute.
offshore web development.
Julie September 9, 2014 8:26 AM
Its like you read my mind! You seem to understand so much about this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe that you could do with some percent to force the message home a bit, however instead of that, that is fantastic blog.
Ruby September 6, 2014 8:06 AM
this is a nice post. i really love to read this. keep it up..i have subscribe this post. your can read here more about me http://www.abc.com
Mark September 5, 2014 1:58 AM
Goyard Tote Outlet
Christian Louboutin Bags Outlet
peter August 20, 2014 11:10 AM
Moose Knuckles Canada
Canada Goose Women Jackets
peter August 20, 2014 11:10 AM
Karen Millen Sale
Karen Millen Outlet
Mont Blanc Pens Sale UK
peter August 20, 2014 11:09 AM
Nike Shox Norge
Nike Free run Sverige
Men Vans Half Cab Pro
Vans Shoes Outlet
peter August 20, 2014 11:07 AM
Thanks for postfesta infantil
Sheila August 5, 2014 6:23 PM
Common Core State Standards
There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
Note to Mozilla Firefox Users:
If the PDF documents are freezing, please try the following fix:
Go to Tools. Under Options click the Applications icon. Under Content Type, find Adobe Acrobat Document. Select Use Adobe Reader. If the option already says Use Adobe Reader, try changing the option to Use Adobe Acrobat.
Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader