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ESOL students travel to DC for production of Hamlet

ESOL+students+on+the+bus+to+see+the+production+of+Hamlet+at+the+Shakespeare+Theatre+in+Washington%2C+DC
ESOL students on the bus to see the production of Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC

ESOL students on the bus to see the production of Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC

Je'Nan Hayes

Je'Nan Hayes

ESOL students on the bus to see the production of Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC

Je'Nan Hayes

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ESOL students took a trip to the Shakespeare Theatre Company, in Washington D.C. on February 15, to see a live-action play of Hamlet with a modern-day twist.

ESOL teacher Sharon Faber created the ESOL theatre class at Watkins Mill High School to create a positive environment for students who are in ESOL to express themselves freely. Faber used her Bachelor’s degree in theatre and teaching experience from ESOL to make the curriculum.

The idea of creating a class that combines theatre and ESOL came to Faber during the spring of 2017. “[I wanted to] put forward a class where students who may not be able to do Foundations of Art, Ceramics, or another elective, or because they really wanted to do something involving theatre and didn’t really have an outlet for that.” Faber said. This class counts as both a fine arts credit and an ESOL credit.

Because Faber is an ESOL theatre teacher, she and a few other staff members from Watkins Mill were able to coordinate a school field trip to the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C.

In preparation for taking a trip to see a live-action production of the famous Shakespearean play, Hamlet, a teaching artist from the theatre company came to Watkins Mill to give some background on Hamlet, rules and regulations of the theatre, and generally build up excitement.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company provided live closed-captions for the ESOL students to read while the play was being performed in Shakespearean English. “I just want [the students] to enjoy, soak in whatever you can just by watching,” Faber said.  For many, this field trip was the first time that students were exposed to an actual professional theatre.

Although students who take the ESOL theatre class may not be interested in pursuing the career of acting, Faber has a poster that hangs in wall of her classroom that sums up the purpose of her class, “ESOL theatre: preparing actors to be confident in English.”

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ESOL students travel to DC for production of Hamlet