Phoenix Education Online

Shakespeare's Comedies: Shakespeare Workshop


Stock: Available

Product Code: 978-1-876580-76-6

edited by Ken Watson

Each book in this series, written by a range of experienced teachers, contains five of the most popular plays in each category

Much Ado About Nothing

Taming of the Shrew             

The Tempest              

Twelfth Night

As You Like It

There is a wide range of activities for each play providing abundant opportunities for activities which allow students to work towards a thorough understanding of the plays as theatre and literature, towards a range of interpretations of the plays and to explore ways in which a script can be transformed into a stage play.

 Most plays include activities dealing with

  • Introduction to the play
  • language
  • staging and performance
  • character
  • plot
  • themes and issues
  • dramatic structure

 The comedies selected are more suited to senior secondary students, but can be used with middle secondary.

In addition to the five plays there is a separate section on staging Shakespeare's plays.

 All activities are photocopiable.

 see also

A Workshop Approach to Shakespeare's Histories

A Workshop Approach to Introducing Shakespeare 

A Workshop Approach to Shakespeare’s Tragedies 

individual Shakespeare Workshop titles

 Selection of contents

 Twelfth Night

Preface to Revised Edition

1 Improvisations                                       Introduction to the play

2 Getting Used to the Language: 1             Language

3 Love, Love, Love                                   Exploration of themes

4 Curtain Up!                                            Staging scenes

5 Your Shakespeare Journal                       Charting personal response

6 Getting Used to the Language: 2             Tone, emphasis, meaning

7 Two Households                                     Setting, Atmosphere

8 Love, Music, the Sea                              Thematic elements

9 Getting Used to the Language: 3             Cloze activity

10 Their Innermost Thoughts                     Exploration of character

11 Shortened Versions                               Play construction

12 Blocking Key Scenes                              Staging

13 The Nature of Women - And of Men      Thematic elements

14 Disguise                                              Thematic elements; character

15 Focus on the Fool                                  Dramatic relationships

16 Film Versions                                        Storyboarding

17 A Question of Dress                              Costume design

18 Comedy                                                Staging the play

19 Excess                                                  Thematic elements

20 Gender Games                                       Thematic elements

21 Tableaux                                               Visual representation

22 Gender, Hierarchy and Power                  Changing perspectives

23 Twelfth Night - The Armfield Film           One director's view of the play

24 Charles Lamb on a Great Malvolio            Interpretation of character

25 A Note on Trevor Nunn's Film

of Twelfth Night (1996)

Much Ado about Nothing


1 Much Writing About Much Ado                 Journal writing

2 "If thou dost love ..."                             Thematic exploration

3 Parallels                                                 Character exploration

4 Two Sets of "Lovers": A First Look          Seeing beyond words

5 Soliloquies                                              Dramatic technique

6 Song & Dance...or Strictly Ballroom          Dramatic effects

7 Scene: Messina                                       Exploring setting

8 "How tartly that gentleman looks"           Don John the Bastard Views of Don John

9 Two Sets of Lovers: A Second Look        Character relationships

10 "...the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch"                     Comic characters

11 "This can be no trick..."                       Tricks and treachery

12 Too Much Much Ado?                             Changing the script

13 "Let me not to the marriage of true minds..."       Attitudes to marriage

14 "Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme"          Language

15 Before and After                                   Theatrical "business"

16 The Dynamic Duo Beatrice and Benedick  Character relationships

1 7 Wit vs Slapstick                                    Humour

18 Kill Claudio!                                           Developing dramatic tension

19 From Stage to TV                                 Adaptation

20 From Page to Cinema:                          Branagh's Much Ado

20 Hot Seat(s)                                          Role playing

 Taming of The Shrew


1. Getting Used to the Language: 1           Tone/Improvisation

2. Improvisations                                      Plot/Theme

3. Getting Used to the Language: 2            Sequencing/Cloze

4. Getting Used to the Language: 3            Tone/Emphasis

5. Enter Katherina                                     Plot/Character/Costuming

6. Enter Petruchio                                      Staging/Character

7. The Missing Scene                                 Writing/Character

8. Marriage Market, or Romantic Love?      Theme

9. The Taming                                           Plot/Character

10. The Induction Scenes: 1 Play                Construction/Staging

11. Staging a Scene                                   Blocking Plans

12. Collage                                               Themes/Imagery

13. The Obedience Speech                        Character/Ideology

14. Storyboard                                          Filming

15. Film and Television Interpretations

16. The Induction Scenes: 2                      Staging/Writing

17. A Famous Production                          Interpretation of Play

18. Revision 1 - Freeze Frames                 Plot and Relationships

19 Revision 2 - Hot Seat                           Character

20 A Range of Opinions                             Discussion