"There is much matter to be heard and learn'd."
- As You Like It, Act V, scene 4
Emily Rainbow Davis, Shakespeare Consultant
With experience in over 300 schools and more than a dozen Arts Organizations, I’ve seen the range of New York City schools. For a decade and a half, I’ve been helping teachers and students bring Shakespeare into their classrooms. I’ve advised teachers on school productions and Shakespeare curriculum. I’ve taught professional development workshops and Master Classes. With students, I’ve done residencies, productions and workshops with all the plays you’d expect (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, The Tempest) and many plays you wouldn’t (Coriolanus, King John, King Lear, Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Timon of Athens, Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, pt 1, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale)
Among the organizations I’ve worked with are: The Folger Shakespeare Library, The English Speaking Union, The Shakespeare Society, BAM, TDF, National Shakespeare Company, American Globe Theatre, Classics On Tour, Shenandoah Shakespeare (now American Shakespeare Center,) Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Arts Connection, Artsbridge, Peoples Theatre Project, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Theatre Arts Center, New York Public Library, The Arcola (London, UK,) Battersea Arts Centre (London, UK,) Young Audiences/NY, Roundabout Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience and the New York City Department of Education.
I teach the Shakespeare in the Classroom course at City College (for graduate students in Educational Theatre.) I also taught the first Shakespeare on Film course at UC Davis and Shakespeare workshops at Manhattanville College.
I’ve written study guides for Private Romeo (the award winning film) and Messenger Theatre Company.
My work as a Shakespeare Consultant is grounded in the fact that Shakespeare’s plays are vital theatrical texts. I teach Shakespeare through performance and teach teachers how to teach through performance even when performance is not their cup of tea – or their students’ cup of tea. I’ve seen all sorts of students and all sorts of teachers in my 15 years of Shakespeare teaching and there’s hope and fun for all of them!
Who (and How) I can Help
Teachers: Need help creating Shakespeare curriculum? Generating new ideas or exercises? Struggling with how to integrate performance into your Shakespeare Teaching? Not quite sure what this play’s about yourself and you have to teach it tomorrow? I can help. I’ve advised many teachers on all of these things and we’ll find a solution.
Administrators: Need someone to teach some Professional Development? Performance based Shakespeare education training is useful for English teachers, of course, but many of the techniques can be adapted for other subject areas. Side note: Shakespeare is the ONLY author mentioned in the Common Core. He is the Common Core-i-est.
Actors/Directors/Designers and other Theatre Folk: Struggling with text? Struggling with the big picture? Struggling with how to translate this stuff to the stage? Whether it’s text analysis, coaching or a dramaturgical/directorial sounding board you need, my nearly 20 years in the world of Shakespeare will be of use to you.
Theatre and Film Companies: A study guide can help you reach out to teachers and educators. I’ve written study guides for stage and screen.
Groups: Through my work with young people and educators, I’ve seen first hand how the opportunity to work with Shakespeare’s words can be transformative. Any group of people, whatever their age or background, can stretch their minds and bodies with the Bard. Let me know what sort of group you are and I’ll tell you what I think a Shakespeare workshop can do for you.
Anyone: In this culture, we all make contact with Shakespeare at some point, whether we know it or not. Have questions about something Shakespearean? I can help.