Help for Confused Ears

Ever sat through a production feeling as though if you could just figure out what some particular word meant (forsworn? enfranchise? vouchsafe?) you could make sense of about 85% of the play? Or maybe you’ve felt like Dull the Constable in Love’s Labour’s Lost, who, in response to the comment that he has “spoken no word all this while,” replies, “Nor understood none neither.” Take heart—it’s not your hearing, and there’s Summer Shakespeare to the rescue with engaging and educational worksheets for this year’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Learn about wordplay, punning, and word coinage; examine Shakespearean vocabulary; familiarize yourself with famous quotations; and search for Verona-esque words.

These aren’t the stuff-of-your-worst-elementary-school-nightmares worksheets. No sentence diagrams here. No long division. Or identifying the capital of Uzbekistan. These are worksheets that will increase understanding and thereby your enjoyment of the production. They might even add a few points to your IQ and make your breath sweeter. Okay, maybe not. But see if you don’t sit a little taller in your theatre seat when you learn to appreciate some Shakespearean Ear Candy.

What kinds of information would you like to know about the play beforehand? What ideas do you have for a worksheet?

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