Shakespeare Up Close returns to schools – filmed and online

Our annual education project Shakespeare Up Close, which offers secondary school students the opportunity to see Shakespeare’s plays performed, will go ahead this year, taking place online with new abridged productions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth made available to schools digitally. The project marks the first Orange Tree Theatre productions in almost a year.

Bec Martin, Education & Participation Director said today, “I am so thrilled to be directing the Orange Tree’s first production in nearly a year. And I am even more thrilled that this production is for young people. Participation and Engagement is becoming even more vital as we reckon with a world without live theatre. The events of the last year have disproportionally affected our young people and it feels significant that while we can’t offer this production in person as we would normally, we are able to provide an accessible and engaging production in a digital medium.”

Paul Miller, Artistic Director, also commented “Education and Participation has long been at the centre of the OT’s work, and not being able to connect with the more than 10,000 young people that we regularly engage with has been agonising. So I am delighted that Bec Martin’s brilliantly imaginative new versions of two plays at the heart of the curriculum will be made available to schools, to GCSE students and more widely too. It’s the start of the OT’s return to making work, and it couldn’t be more fitting that this is where we begin: I can’t wait.”

Bec Martin directs Zena Carswell, Cat Kolubayev, Enoch Lwanga, Jordan Turner and Jazmine Wilkinson in both productions. All rehearsals and filming will be conducted in a Covid secure environment in line with current government guidelines.

Both productions feature design by Jessica Staton, lighting design by Chris McDonnell, sound design by Nicola Chang and movement by Laura Dredger.

How to access: Schools and colleges will be able to purchase access to both productions online through our website from late March. A public performance will be made available at a later date.

Shakespeare Up Close has been running for five years. The project, designed to support the GCSE curriculum, provides secondary age students with the opportunity to see Shakespeare’s works performed live. Each year the production tours to numerous secondary schools and is performed for invited young audiences at Orange Tree Theatre.

Shakespeare Up Close is supported by RPLC, Hampton Fund and the Haskel Family Foundation.

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