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Why Teach and Perform Shakespeare?
Learning from the Bard

, San Marcos High School
Santa Barbara, CA

Building Community Learning and Performing Gatekeeper Texts Serving Diverse Learners

Where do I teach?

What are my students learning?

Teaching Practice
What's my approach?

Student Work





Sheltered English Production Video
Edited video providing an overview of the production.
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"Much Ado" in Farsi, Spanish, Chinese and English?

My name is Philip Levien, and I teach English and Drama at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. Although I teach many classes-- English 11, "Types of Literature" Transition ELD/English course, and Playwriting among them-- this website largely describes my work in one class, the "Sheltered Theater Production" class. In this course, I work with students to cast, stage, rehearse, produce and perform an abridged Shakespearean play. In the four years I've been teaching the course, we've performed The Comedy of Errors (2002), The Tempest (2003), Much Ado About Nothing (2004), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (2005). To prepare for the performances, the students work to read, understand, memorize, and in some cases direct, translate and adapt the work to make it accessible to our audiences of fellow students, families, and community members.           

The students do a great job in mastering these texts for performance, in part because we work hard at building community, tackling different aspects of "gatekeeper texts", and because we have such a diverse group of English language learner (ELL) students as well as several Special Needs students who are mainstreamed into my classroom.

You can also see all of the documentation that's been gathered from my classroom on the archive page. Enjoy!






The work on this website includes ethnographic video documentation recorded by Richard Nardi and ChunXia Wang, and was supported in part by the Center for Teaching for Social Justice at U.C. Santa Barbara.

Site last updated February 21, 2006