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 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 towards 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 acting identity, 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.
About the author:
Following a distinguished career as a classically trained actor on stage and in film and television, Mel Ryane has found a new artistic home in the written word with her memoir. 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.
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