Shakespeare comes to life at Bulkeley Middle School

RHINEBECK — Not every student comes to class excited to learn about about Shakespeare.

Jenn Lee and Neil Hellegers, teaching artists from the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Education Program, try to change that.

Lee and Hellegers visited Deedra Kaake’s eighth grade English language arts classes at Bulkeley Middle School in Rhinebeck on Thursday as part of a five-week program with Kaake’s classes.

 This week’s lesson was about depicting “status” in a play. In one exercise, Lee and Hellegers handed five students face-down playing cards of varying rank. Their classmates had to guess the rank of their cards by their behavior as they walked across the room and introduced themselves.

 Their classmates were dead on.

 “You don’t necessarily have to be loud and big to denote status,” said Hellegers. “We pick up on those cues, even if they’re very subtle.”

Shakespeare evoked to teach in English class