Playing Shakespeare: MacBeth for Nine-to-Twelve-Year-Olds

Click HERE to register.

What: Using a few basic props (foam swords!) and lots of physical activities, we explore language in ways that empower children to bring the script to life and make the characters and the scenes their own. Using Shakespeare’s Macbeth as our base text, we will take an age-appropriate approach to Shakespeare’s stories, characters, language, and theatre. We will be sharing some of our scenes with family and friends at the end of the program.

When: Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 (snack break in the middle), April 8 – June 3 (no class May 27).

Who can enrollAnyone nine to twelve years of age; parents/guardians welcome to attend, younger siblings welcome with permission of instructor. Anyone who likes Hallowe’en or Harry Potter will love acting out the sword fights and magic spells that make Macbeth one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

Why:   By introducing Shakespeare to our children when they are young, we take advantage of children’s natural ability to acquire language. Children will discover that Shakespeare is fun; that his language is easy to understand with a little help; that his characters are relatable, and that acting is about imagination, cooperation, and teamwork.

How much: $35 per registered child. Registration to open soon.

Facilitator: Lesley Peterson taught high school English in Winnipeg for fourteen years. Then she was a Shakespeare professor in the US, where she also brought the Bard into elementary school classrooms as a volunteer. She recently retired and now lives in Riverview.

For more information: Please contact Lesley at

What the children will learn:

  • Shakespeare is fun, and Shakespeare is for everyone.
  • Shakespeare’s language and plots are easy to understand with a little help.
  • Shakespeare’s scripts are easy to perform with a little help.
  • Shakespeare’s characters are relatable for anyone.
  • Shakespeare’s stories are about relatable topics, and many of these topics (the ones we will focus on) are age-appropriate: friendship, loyalty, competition, parent-child conflict, wanting to run away from home, rebellion, obedience, friends getting into fights, people who tease and play tricks on other people; silliness; dreams and ambitions; acceptance, forgiveness; transformation; magic. (You will find many of these same topics in such children’s films and books as Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast).
  • Any empty space can be turned into another world through the magic of theatre.

What parents/guardians will get:

The opportunity to applaud your child in performance of scenes from Shakespeare, using Shakespeare’s original language.

Access to suggestions for resources to help encourage your children to pursue their new-found interest in Shakespeare at home.