Historically, cross-dressing in the theater is fairly common-place, and in opera, this is no different. In our latest blog post, we take a look at the tradition of cross-dressing in opera, how it changed during the reign of the castrati, and the prevailing practice of ‘pants’ roles. Enjoy!
Perhaps over the festive season you had the chance to catch an opera. You may have been given tickets by a friend, or just fancied a bit of a special night out. Or maybe your new year’s resolutions include something along the lines of ‘I should see more theater’, or ‘involve myself in more cultural activities’ or even, perhaps, ‘go to the opera’, well this is the post for you. If you’re an opera newbie, the vast amount of schedules, houses, and works, can be a little bit overwhelming, and you want to make sure you’re going to enjoy what you’re going to see.
While many English or Theatre teachers (myself included) embrace William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I actually really enjoy the history plays. Richard III is one of my favorite plays to teach because of the intriguing villain, dynamic poetry, and fascinating characters. However, in order for my students to make sense of it, I realized I had to make sense of the English history Shakespeare was using to write Richard III. In that endeavor, I tumbled down a rabbit hole and into a quagmire of complex English history mired in international and civil wars.
How can theatre teachers find new and interesting way to engage non-theatre students? With the advent of the new StageAgent for Schools program, it’s now easier than ever to integrate theatre into cross-curricular learning projects. Whether you want to brush up your Shakespeare in an English Literature class by having students perform monologues and scenes, or bring American History alive through the musical presence of the smash hit Hamilton, here are some ideas on how to integrate Theatre and other subjects such as Literature, Writing, History, Music, and Dance with the help of StageAgent for Schools. Read guest blogger Amanda Whitford Grundy’s post to see how you can use StageAgent for Schools and the many tools it offers to engage your students in all levels of theatrical learning.
Hamilton and Hello, Dolly!–complete opposites of the musical theatre spectrum, one would think. StageAgent editor and blogger, Laura Ware, shares her thoughts on the correlations in such different shows and their relevance in our current political climate, and how much we need both of them today in the growth and influence of musical theatre itself.