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Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet for Kids: 3 Short Melodramatic Plays for 3 Group Sizes (Playing with Plays) Paperback – April 29, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brendan P. Kelso, known to the kids as Professor Peculiar because of his unique and humorous personality, came to writing modified Shakespeare scripts when he was taking time off from work to be at home with his son. "It just grew from there" Within months, he was being asked to offer classes in various locations and acting organizations along the coast of California. Employed as an engineer, Brendan never thought about writing. But he has always stated, "There is no better way to learn than to have fun!" Brendan makes his home on the central coast of California and loves to spend time with his wife and son.
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Product Details

  • Series: Playing with Plays
  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439213526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439213520
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a 9th grade English teacher, this little book will definitely become a gem in my collection of engaging resources. First of all, the book is broken down into three mini-plays based on available actors: 6-11 actors, 9-13 actors, and 14-18 actors. Group sizes help teachers to sort students for each mini-play.

In the forward, Brendan Kelso discusses the important scenes of Shakespeare that have remained with him since high school. These are the scenes that are alluded to and remembered, such as, "Romeo, Romeo; wherefore art thou Romeo?" The most important element of this book is that all of the famous lines that teachers want students to remember are there, but the lines are connected with language that students understand.

The plays can be acted out in 10 minutes or less which is perfect for a flip video rendition of Romeo and Juliet. I plan to use this fabulous book to group my students and create flip video versions to post to our student blog pages. Not only will students be able to recite some of Shakespeare's most famous lines, but they will also be able to connect with the characters in the play to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of Romeo and Juliet.

Thank you Brendan Kelso and Playing with Plays for your excellent, engaging, and short enough to be able to use in class, melodramatic plays.
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I thought this would meet my middle school students' understanding in learning this great work by the Bard, but I found mistakes in the text and was turned off. So I returned it. Couldn't in good conscience share it with students. Perhaps the author will print another edition with corrections. I cannot remember the issues since I returned it a while ago, but I think it was either in the plotline or story facts.
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I am a high school English teacher, but I used this for my daughter's 4th and 5th grade after-school GATE meeting that is run completely by volunteer parents. The students enjoyed it and the parents were impressed with their use of Shakespearean language!
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I'm pretty sure that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. I even explained in detail to my fifth grade students WHY it was a tragedy. So, what made them laugh uproariously when I read this playbook to them, and beg me to allow them to perform it? Brendan Kelso's writing, of course! Even kids with stage fright will not be afraid to be in this play...after all, there's sword fights, great death scenes, lots of humor, and a marriage that ends in a "high five".

As an elementary school gifted resource education teacher, I wanted my students to be aware of William Shakespeare and his contributions to the world of writing. I hoped to give them just enough background knowledge to make middle and high school Shakespeare units exciting for them. It was difficult to find Shakespearean resources for elementary school students, and I was fortunate to find this resource through Amazon.com.

Kelso takes Shakespeare's masterpieces and turns them into modern day plays, incorporating Shakespeare's most famous lines. His books feature three ten minute plays, built around cast size. I have all of his books (and REALLY need him to finish Julius Caesar and move on to Hamlet) and I am thoroughly enjoying using them with my students. I can't recommend them highly enough! They are teacher/student friendly and economically priced. In addition, the website for the series has a plethora of resources for lessons on Shakespeare. So, "SHAKE UP" your class and purchase this series. Your students will thoroughly enjoy it!
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Format: Paperback
From the perspective of my children who acted out this play with friends, it is an EXCELLENT play. The experience of memorizing lines, making costumes and props, dressing up and acting it out for their parents was one of those life events they won't soon forget. The part I like as their homeschool teacher is that their first exposure to Shakespeare was memorable and pleasant. It made the great Bard attainable. As one review said, this is not for the purist. Although original lines from Shakespeare are included and highlighted, it is primarily written in the modern vernacular. In keeping with the reality of a Shakespeare tragedy, the actors will be dropping like flies. But then, what tween/teen doesn't want to perfect their dramatic dying scene? And for those who are concerned that the romance between Romeo and Juliet might get explicit -- not to fear. They fall in love quickly and painlessly with never a kiss between them.
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I directed Romeo & Juliet for Kids for a competition piece with 5,6,7 and 8 graders. I loved the flexible casts! The intimidation of Shakespeare's language was completely set aside by the cast as Mr Kelso makes the language clear and yet is still able to incorporate several of the most famous lines the Bard wrote. The kids were very interested as to why things were put the way they were at that time - for example: "Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?" - wow - that was the line that really fascinated them and the provenance thereof. I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
Another example: all the kids had heard Juliet's balcony lament - but now they learned that "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" doesn't mean "Romeo where are you?", it means "why are you called Romeo Montague - the enemy"! Boy - were they surprised but the lights went on!! It made them more attuned to other similar lines. The kids also really enjoyed the stage fighting, dying and over-the-top performances the script required. I applaud Mr Kelso with his affinity for this age group and for enabling these children to look forward to reading Shakespeare in later years for school.
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