Two years ago, when we were reading King Lear with another family, I searched high and low for some paper dolls or paper puppets we could use to keep our characters straight as we read the play aloud. I never found quite what I was looking for.
My daughter has always loved drawing and painting. She started working on a set of people. She came to me one morning to announce that she had created a Shakespeare resource for families who might like to “act out” their Shakespeare as they read it. That gave her the idea to rework Shakespeare’s original play to include only the parts that were in the Lamb’s retellings we’d previously read and have puppets for each of those parts. Her adapted play is not to replace reading the actual Shakespeare play, but to allow co-ops or families to put on a shortened version that keeps the main story intact.
Hence Act It Out Shakespeare came to be. My 12 year old’s entrepreneurial idea. Currently, The Tempest is available for purchase. Complete with 11 puppets to cut out and glue to popsicle sticks (if desired), a play, and a lit of characters per scene so you can easily assign roles without going through the entire play.
Next, she is working on A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. Leave her comment to let her know which plays you will be doing this school year and she will add them to her running list.