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Bard College

Annotated Shakespeare for tots.

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Stephen Burdman wants to redefine “Shakespeare in the park.” Instead of spending summer evenings hanging around the Delacorte, Burdman, the artistic director of New York Classical Theatre, goes about teaching a play—this season, it’s Love’s Labour's Lost—with fun, child-friendly demonstrations, like relay races and traditional acting warm-up exercises on the grasses of the Children’s Glade. Based on the turnout for the first season last year, he’s doubled the number of free Family Workshops from four to eight. “The deadliest thing about Shakespeare is high-school Shakespeare teachers,” he says. The workshops are designed for 8- to 10-year-olds, although Burdman says he’d never turn away a child who’s older or younger, or has trouble with English for that matter. Parents must be present and are encouraged to participate; the workshop leaders are not babysitters, but rather actors from the production itself. Though this year’s specific plans are still somewhat up in the air, Burdman is confident that kids will gain an understanding of the character-heavy play, the performance of which begins about an hour after the workshop. “It’s always interesting to me how the kids get the plot,” he says, laughing. “The kids know who’s who. It’s the parents who have trouble keeping up.”

6/16, 6/17, 6/23, 6/24 from 5 to 5:45 p.m.; Central Park’s Children’s Glade, 103rd St. at Central Park West (212-252-4531 or newyorkclassical.org); free.


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