Hear directly from our students by clicking on the video and read below for more information on Shakespeare STEAM.
What is Shakespeare STEAM?
Shakespeare in Detroit and elementary, middle and high school educators collaborate to teach students the Science of lighting a production, the Technology of sound design, the Engineering or construction of a form/costume, the Art of classical performance and the Mathematics of building a set, along with tools and curriculum for the development of soft skills such as communication and confidence. In addition, students' literacy competencies will be increased through the exploration of iambic pentameter with improved reading and comprehension abilities and a focus on syntax and modulation. These are all transferable skills that the youth will be able to take with them throughout their primary education experiences and into post-high school academic and professional careers.
The program's pilot season took place during the 2019-20 academic year. In the fall of that year, more than 1,000 students (700 of which were not from official partner schools) from schools across Detroit including the Academy of the Americas, Clippert Academy, DSA, Spain along with Brenda Scott Academy attended SiD's production of Romeo and Juliet at the Detroit School of the Arts in collaboration with Detroit Public Schools Community District, the Knight Foundation and the University of Michigan's School of Education.
Can Shakespeare in Detroit come to my school and put on a performance?
Our teaching artists or members of our staff can come to your school and talk about Shakespeare, a specific play, demonstrate a scene and other potential subject matter if given, at least, 90 days notice that you would enjoy a visit. However, our professional acting company does not come to individual schools to perform full productions.
Our work with designated STEAM partners allows us to empower students and school staff to put on a show of their own, which we believe is far more impactful than students only watching us perform. Our students are given theatre tools as doers rather than observers. However, there will be professional productions, in the future, focused on student matinees that allow schools from all over our great state to come and observe or witness our professional acting company perform every year, which we know is also valuable.
How was the program activated during COVID-19?
STEAM learning was supplemented by donating STEAM bags filled with art supplies to 250 students at Clippert Academy, DSA, Boggs School, The School at Marygrove and Brenda Scott Academy. The supplies that were donated complemented the online curriculum on Shakespeare in Detroit's YouTube page, which you can find HERE (and remember to subscribe).
SiD's teaching artists also made their expertise and the curriculum available for students online via live educational sessions on Zoom and/or MS Teams. The company engaged with approximately 50 students, digitally during the 2020-21 academic year.
The grade levels were also extended to accomodate K-2 at Boggs School.
SiD has also added Wellness to its STEAM curriculum as health and wellbeing are essential to our youth actors' success.
What are the plans for summer 2021?
Shakespeare in Detroit will host auditions for high school students (14 to 18 years old) on April 24, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. for our inaugural summer coservatory, which will include intensive studies of voice and text, stage combat, dramaturgy, costume design and other vocational and artistic pillars that will ultimately result in a filmed production of Romeo & Juliet.
The conservatory begins June 21 through filming on August 14, 2021.
Students who successfully complete the summer program (with no absences, learn all lines and fully engage in the work of the conservatory and the production) will receive a $1,000 grant at the conclusion of the program.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Priority will be given to our students at The School at Marygove. But all youth are invited to audition and may, in fact, receive a role as there are ten (10) opportunities available. The roles of Romeo and Juliet have already been cast.
When did STEAM launch?
SiD launched its Shakespeare STEAM program for students during the 2019-20 academic year with partner schools Clippert Academy, Detroit School of Arts (DSA), James and Grace Lee Boggs and The School at Marygrove for students in grades 3-12.
Can my school become a partner?
The company is currently at capacity for its school partners. However, future plans include additional schools on the STEAM roster. We encourage students, parents and educators to subscribe to our YouTube page to engage with the curriculum.
Do schools pay for a STEAM partnership?
This work is done at no cost to the schools and made possible by our sponsors whose generosity pays for the cost of supplies and the expertise of the professional artists working in the schools. Shakespeare's plays, required reading in Southeast Michigan high schools, were meant to be performed not read at a desk, afterall. So this service is essential to supporting educators in addition to helping students gain life and career skills that apply to many versatile fields and industries.
Is the success of this new program measurable?
Metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, will be presented to stakeholders such as parents, educators and program sponsors at the conclusion of the current school year.
Read breakdown of the 2019-20 academic year HERE for full transparency.