Perry Mills, Assistant Headmaster, Head of Sixth Form and Head of the English and Expressive Arts Faculty at King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, will hold his Fellowship from January to March 2009.
The Elizabethan Boy Player
The purpose of this project is to see what happens when plays, scenes and characters which were originally written for boy players, are actually performed by companies of boys. As such, we believe this will be a unique piece of primary research. Questions we hope to explore include: What was it that the audiences were actually ‘seeing’? What was the attraction? What can we learn about playing styles through working in different performance spaces?
Outcomes will include
Three performance projects
John Lyly's Endymion. Performances at Shakespeare's Globe 8 February; King Edward VI School 6 February; CAPITAL Centre 27 February Review
Thomas Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters (1605) . Performances at CAPITAL Centre 10 March; University College Oxford 11 March; King Edward VI School 12 March. A short introduction explaining the historical and theatrical contexts will be followed by the performance by a cast from Years 9-13 King Edward VI students. This Jacobean City Comedy has been described as “quite an amiable play” which offers “mildly rueful pleasure at the… whimsical acceptance of the mad world.” Furthermore it is a boisterous - even riotous - and deeply cynical satire on greed and lust. The performance will provoke many questions, not least among them: “Why has this play not been performed on a more regular basis over the last 404 years?”
Shakespeare Workshop: a Boys’ Company (drawing on Year 9 students at KES) will workshop a series of scenes from Shakespeare at the CAPITAL Centre and at The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon in front of audiences. The project will involve three students with a good knowledge of Shakespeare, some experience of directing and an interest in working with young people. Performance at Shakespeare Centre 25 March
with video recordings of performances and rehearsals; reviews of performances and comments on “impact”; interview with cast members and directors
Completion of the archive of learning materials of the 2008 project on John Marston's The Dutch Courtesan
A reflective journal covering the Fellowship projects
Workshops with Warwick PGCE students – staging difficult texts; boys’ companies
Online worksheets: guidance on building drama workshops on Shakespeare
Dissemination of research through performance and presentation: University College, Oxford (Drama and Performance seminar) 11 March