Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't

Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't

by Mel Ryane
Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't

Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't

by Mel Ryane

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Overview

“Highly enjoyable . . . A charming memoir that will amuse and inspire parents, teachers, and Shakespeare fans.” —Kirkus Reviews

What happens when an idealist volunteers to introduce Shakespeare to a group of unruly kids? Bedlam. Tears. And hard lessons learned.

Convinced that children can relate to Shakespeare's themes—power, revenge, love—Mel Ryane launches The Shakespeare Club at a Los Angeles public school. Teaching Will is a riotous cautionary tale of high hopes and goodwill crashing into the realities of classroom chaos. Every week, Mel encounters unexpected comedy and drama as she and the children struggle toward staging a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Woven through this fish-out-of-water tale is Mel’s own story of her childhood aspirations, her experiences in acting, and the heartbreaking end of her onstage career.

In the schoolyard, Mel finds herself embroiled in jealousy and betrayal worthy of Shakespeare’s plots. Fits of laughter alternate with wiping noses as she and the kids discover a surprising truth: They need each other if they want to face an audience and triumph. Teaching Will is an uplifting story of empowerment for dreamers and realists alike.

“Lively . . . Ryane manages both to be funny and not take herself too seriously.” —Publishers Weekly

“I found myself moved to tears by one sentence and laughing out loud at the next.” —The Huffington Post


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939629432
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Publication date: 08/12/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 236
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a classically trained actor onstage and in film and television, Mel Ryane has found a new artistic home in the written word with her memoir, Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't.

Mel became a professional actor during her teens in her native Canada, then followed her career to New York City and to theatres across North America. After applying her skills to coaching actors on major studio and network projects, Mel was accepted into the Directing Workshop for Women at the prestigious American Film Institute. She subsequently wrote a screenplay that advanced to the semifinal round in the Motion Picture Academy's Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition.

Mel travels across the country teaching "From Page to Podium: Reading Your Work Aloud," a workshop that helps writers find their public speaking voice. She also offers school workshops introducing Shakespeare to students. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their dog and cat.

Table of Contents

• Chapter One: The School of Soft Knocks
• Chapter Two: My Kingdom for a Flute
• Chapter Three: Everyone Has a Price
• Chapter Four: Party to the Party
• Chapter Five: Winter Breakdown
• Chapter Six: Wits' Witless End
• Chapter Seven: Cast Away
• Chapter Eight: Prop Me Up
• Chapter Nine: A Rock and a Very Hard Place
• Chapter Ten: Miles to Go
Intermission
• Chapter Eleven: A Lonely Business
• Chapter Twelve: What Shakespeare Meant by Hamlet
• Chapter Thirteen: The Actor's Burden
• Chapter Fourteen: War Declared
• Chapter Fifteen: 442 Years Old
• Chapter Sixteen: Hitting the Wall
• Chapter Seventeen: What Fool This Mortal Be
• Chapter Eighteen: Cryin' Bad
• Chapter Nineteen: "I Always Knew I Wanted to Be an Actor—My Whole Life!"
• Chapter Twenty: And So . . .
Encore

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Oh! For a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention! Mel Ryane is that fiery muse for a group of mischievous kids in a L.A. public school. What a terrific story, funny and brave! Shakespeare gives his actors a glimpse into their humanity, teaches them patience, and fosters their courage. Mel Ryane does the same for her wayward students, and they return the favor. Bravissima! How do we make Shakespeare Club mandatory for every school in North America? ~Len Cariou, Tony Award Winner, Member of the Theatre Hall of Fame

Helen Hunt

"Teaching Will sings with honesty, adventure, humility and humor. Only someone who loves Shakespeare would dare to do what Ms Ryane did and dare to write about it. The book is a joy." —Helen Hunt

EBOOK COMMENTARY

"Teaching Will sings with honesty, adventure, humility and humor. Only someone who loves Shakespeare would dare to do what Ms Ryane did and dare to write about it. The book is a joy." —Helen Hunt

Customer Reviews