Literacy rich school plays for every elementary and middle school student on Earth: it’s not just our catch phrase but an enduring vision to include drama in and after school. With STAGEiT!, students learn 21st century skills through the most enduring classical stories in the English language.
Why do a play? All over the world, drama is catching on to increase students’ abilities to communicate (speaking, listening, writing, reading), develop higher order group processes (brainstorming, collaborating, interpreting) and is even referenced in twenty-six standards at all grade levels in the Common Core of the U.S. In other countries, like Australia, drama is obligatory and many English Language Learning countries engage in plays to learn the language. Putting on a school play can also be an effective way to engage students who might otherwise tune out.
And, with all of the testing, testing, testing…what are kids learning? It’s time to put some drama back into the curriculum. The good kind, of course!
STAGEiT! Shakespeare has been in the works since the mid 1980s based on the work of its author, Floyd Rumohr. His ideas became institutionalized through Stages of Learning, a New York City-based nonprofit arts education organization founded by him in 1994 and described as “one of the most effective arts education programs” serving New York City by Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The organization served about 3,000 students annually and 40,000 across its lifecycle through partnerships between classroom teachers and teaching artists.
While Stages of Learning relied on a partnership approach, STAGEiT! is intended for use by a singular teacher or a cluster of teachers across a whole grade.
The stage is set. Villains, heroes, lovers, and generals are among the cast of characters you’ll find in STAGEiT!.
Floyd Rumohr is founder of Stages of Learning (1994-2010), a nonprofit organization upon which STAGEiT! Shakespeare is based and described by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “one of the most effective” arts education programs serving the city. Floyd was a master teaching artist for dozens of schools between 1989-2004; directed several plays off- and off-Broadway from 1998-2003; a fellow for the Empire State Partnerships/New York State Council on the Arts Summer Seminar; an Adjunct Professor of Education at the Long Island University Graduate School of Education; and reviewer/writer for the NYC Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts Theater Grades PreK-12 (2005). As Associate Education Director for Theatre For A New Audience (1990-1995), he focused on bringing world-class Shakespeare programs to urban youth and was the first among his peers at Temple University to receive an MFA in theater under fellowship in 1988.
Floyd is currently the executive director for a NYC-based nonprofit organization.
Stephen Rainforth: Book cover design, and website design and development.
Judith Rumohr: Editor
— Pat Reid, Editor,
— Dr. Janet Farnham, Teacher Carrie E.
Tompkins School, Croton, NY
— Roberta Kirshbaum, Principal PS 75,
Manhattan and Ridge Street School, Rye Brooke, NY
— Marjorie E. Castro Superintendent of Schools
The Croton-Harmon School District
Westchester County, NY
— Gary Dayton, Program Officer
New York State Council on the Arts
— Steven Ninteman, Fifth Grade Teacher
PS 6, Manhattan
— PS 94 Student
— Bache-Martin Elementary Student
— PS 145 Student
— Dan Feigelson, Principal PS 6