"This green plot shall be our stage" : Shakespeare at Winedale and the pedagogy of play and place
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Shakespeare at Winedale is one of the most unique and extensive Shakespeare-through-performance programs in the nation, yet it has not received much critical attention. This report suggests that Shakespeare at Winedale's innovations deserve closer attention, as they can provide insights on what can be possible with a "total immersion" performance approach with Shakespeare. The report examines: 1) the cultural and historical elements that came together to create the program, including the story of how program founder James Ayres first brought students out to Winedale; 2) the unique pedagogical advantages of the Winedale setting and the learning opportunities it invites; 3) an attempt to place Shakespeare at Winedale somewhat in context of both the cultural currents of the time and the growing acceptance in the academy of the performance approach; 4) a description of Winedale's emphasis on play as an approach to the text; 5) Ayres's idea of the "second play" that is possible through the sense of community fostered at Winedale. The report is aimed primarily at teachers interested in new insights into the value of the performance approach, but also at any students and teachers of Shakespeare.