I was an unlikely candidate for Shakespeare education work. I have no college degree or formal pedagogical training.
I was just starting my journey with Shakespeare when a friend of mine, Cynde Liffick at Bard Unbound asked me to assist her with some drama camps she was teaching. Mostly I was tasked with wrangling wayward ten-year-olds, and I agreed to do it more as a favor to Cynde than because I had any particular interest in teaching.
I happened to mention to a hair client who was a high school literature teacher that I was helping with some Shakespeare camps for kids, and she asked me to come speak to her class about my experiences with Shakespeare. I hesitantly agreed and gave my first lectures on Macbeth.
From there, things snowballed. Mostly through word of mouth I received more requests to help out with theatre camps and more requests to lecture in schools.
I’ve now given dozens of talks in literature classes from middle school through college, taught Shakespeare camps for children, in addition to writing some educational TV spots for the local PBS affiliate called Bard Bits.
I think of my job as being less about imparting knowledge than sharing enthusiasm. Too many students think Shakespeare is meant to be studied rather than enjoyed, and I hope that I give them permission to find joy in the Bard and that loving Shakespeare enriches their lives as it has enriched mine.
some schools I’ve worked with:
Creighton University, 2021, Addie Barnhart
University of Richmond, 2015, 2018, Dr. Anthony Russell, Dr. Lidia Radi
St. Margaret’s School, 2015—2020, Shannon Spears
Steward School, 2017, 2019, Stephanie Arnold
Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, 2018, 2019, Addie Barnhart