Shakespeare and Acting 2010-11
3rd Period, Odd Days, Bump Day 6
Centennial Hall
Mr. Spragins
Office: Carey Hall 220
Office: (410) 323-3800 ext 725
Home: (410) 828-5212 (until 10:00 pm)
Course Website:
Email Address: 
Course Overview
1.  Texts for Course:
  • Selected Sonnets (handout)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Cambridge University Press)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Cambridge University Press)
  • Othello (Cambridge University Press)

2. Course Description:    

  • Shakespeare did not write his plays to be discussed in a classroom. He wrote them to be performed. Learning Shakespeare by doing Shakespeare will open the plays to you in an engaging and exacting manner. You will be doing ‘vertical close readings’ of the texts, responding to the ways that the language informs you about characters and situations.
  • You will be staging scenes, writing promptbooks, creating ground plans, doing choreography, designing costumes, and, yes, you will be writing essays. We will be doing voice and movement exercises which will help open you to the language. We will also be watching snippets of performances from the best productions available on DVD. But we will also be performing our own interpretations of scenes. 
  • We will be working first on several of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Then, we will work on four of his plays: Romeo and Juliet (1595), Much Ado About Nothing (1598), and Othello (1606).
  • Civil Behavior in the classroom will be vital to the success of our group projects. You are going to be teaching each other this semester. No verbal abuse will be tolerated! Just as important is avoiding non-verbal comments about each other and the class, such as slouching in chairs, appearing to be deathly bored, staring out the window, sleeping, rolling eyes at people’s ideas, snickering or snorting , etc. etc. etc. Just be polite and positive! 
  • Business like decorum in dress is required. This is a place of business. Appropriate dress reflects an appropriate attitude. Girls should be aware that we will be rehearsing theatre which means that they should bring appropriate rehearsal attire.
  • Lateness to class will not be tolerated!

3. Grading Policy:

Major Graded Projects:
          - Sonnet Essay and Performance 
          - Romeo and Juliet Essay and Performance 
          - Much Ado About Nothing Essay and Performance
          - Othello Essay and Performance (TBA)

Late Policy on Major Assignments: You can receive an extension for any paper or project if you have a legitimate reason and you ask me before the day the essay or project is due. That means you cannot come to me on the day that an essay or project is due and receive an extension without penalty. Late papers or projects will be penalized five points per day (Saturdays, Sundays and vacation days count as days as well.)

Essays and Performances carry equal grades.

High Promptbooks grades depend upon the completion of all assigned parts and the high collaborative spirit of the group.