This summer, 25 American high school teachers participated as ESU British University Summer School (BUSS) scholars in the three-week Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance program at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. The Globe is a reconstruction of the 1599 Elizabethan playhouse on the River Thames, now a major cultural center in England. Many of the BUSS scholars attended on full scholarships granted by their local ESU Branches. They will return to their classrooms this fall equipped with new methods to teach Shakespeare.
For three weeks, the ESU BUSS scholars live and breathe Shakespeare, immersed in the life of this famous working theatre. They are instructed by Shakespearean scholars and members of the Globe Theatre Company responsible for design, direction, movement, music, text and voice. They have the chance to view Globe productions and concluded their course by performing selected scenes from As You Like It on the Globe stage.
"This program has opened the door into a world of colorful, vibrant language that was accessible all along. The exercises are practical approaches so easily incorporated into a modern American classroom," Sarah Porter, a teacher sponsored by the ESU Central Florida reports. "I easily learned more in the first few days about the content and language of Shakespeare than I had in years of college or teaching in the classroom."
Jeana Whitaker, ESU Phoenix Branch BUSS Scholar said, "I'm excited to share what I've absorbed with my colleagues and my students. The practitioners, teachers and staff at Globe Education are truly world class. I am so grateful to ESU for this opportunity. After teaching for more than 20 years, this program has reignited my passion for teaching and I feel like a first-year teacher again."
Since 1957, ESU Branches all over the country have given more than 2,500 American middle school and high school teachers the opportunity to study abroad at prestigious centers of learning in Britain – Oxford University, Edinburgh University and Shakespeare's Globe in London -- through the BUSS scholarship program. Teachers return professionally invigorated and armed with new teaching methods and a global perspective to engage and challenge their students nationwide.
As a special welcome to London, the ESU BUSS scholars at the Globe this year were invited to a tea at Dartmouth House, Headquarters of our sister organization, The English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth. Former and present British participants in the ESU Page Scholarship program were also in attendance to network and share.
If you are a teacher interested in the opportunity to participate in Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance at Shakespeare's Globe in London next summer as an ESU BUSS scholar, please check the ESU website or contact ESU International Programs Manager, Alice Uhl, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on summer 2016 programs will be available in November 2015.