Abu Dhabi students discover the delights of Shakespeare through workshops presented by ADMAF
For the past week, more than 300 students from schools and universities across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have had the unique opportunity to participate in special educational workshops by ‘Shakespeare 4 Kidz’, a theatre group from the UK specialising in performances for children and students. The workshops have been made possible thanks to the support of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF).
The students from the UAE University, the Abu Dhabi International School, Al Fajr School, Al Yasmina School, Gems American Academy and the Al Ain English Speaking School, have all experienced the unique sessions which were held 3-7 May 2009. Students from The Future Centre for Special Needs and the Special Care Centre in Abu Dhabi also took part in the workshops, building on ADMAF’s efforts to involve children with special needs in artistic activities in the UAE, an initiative that was launched this years as part of the unique education program of the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival.
Specially designed for a younger audience, the ‘Shakespeare 4 Kidz’ workshops offer a brilliant opportunity for boys and girls to experience the classical tales of The Bard in a fun and interactive manner. All of the participating schools were given a choice of Shakespeare plays to focus on including Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet.
During the workshops, the leaders Rose Blackley and Alan Clarke, work with the students, getting them to act out the play over the course of the two hour period. This hands-on approach helps to demystify the works of the literary master whilst staying true to his style and content.
Shakespeare 4 Kidz has been providing Shakespeare education to children and young people all over the UK, and across the globe since 1997. Their unique approach has proved a hit with kids and adults alike. Their success is largely due to their original approach to classical literature and the safe and encouraging environment in which every pupil is made to feel that their contribution is recognised and valued.
Hoda I. Al Khamis Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), said:
“ADMAF is delighted to be supporting the ‘Shakespeare 4 Kidz’ workshops at eight schools and universities throughout the Emirate. Shakespeare is one of the greatest masters of the written word and has inspired artists for hundreds of years. His plays and poems have stood the test of time, and even today inspire literature and arts lovers across the globe.
“It is truly wonderful to see students of all ages participate in these dynamic sessions, and perform some of Shakespeare’s great works with professional actors. We hope these educational sessions help to lay the foundations for further enthusiastic study of William Shakespeare.”
The ‘Shakespeare 4 Kidz’ workshops presented by ADMAF aim at introducing children in the United Arab Emirates to the writings of a great artist and enhancing their access to arts and culture, a goal that lies at the heart ofthe Foundation’s education program. This year-round extensive programme includes performances, workshops and lectures in schools, colleges and theatres across the UAE, providing an opportunity for more children to learn about music and arts, and seeking to inspire the next generation of cultural lovers.
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