Shakespeare. He's 447 years old now, or, better yet, he's been around for 477 years. So, what does Shakespeare mean to me?
That's about it, simple and easy, wrapped in one word. Although I should probably elaborate on why, however, it is that simple.
Why Happiness? Well, partially mine, somewhat teachers and parents, but mostly, kids. I write Shakespeare for Kids books. I got into writing these books because the kids wanted me to. Well, in the end it was that kids wanted me to. Truth be told, actually, it was my wife telling me I had to make some money if I was out of work. So, she set me up to do afterschool programs. So, at that point I did my first shortened Shakespeare script, Hamlet in a can, and let it rip. The kids loved it! Actually, they loved the sword play and dieing all over the stage... nothing like ending a play with 10 kids scattered around all melodramatically dieing! Great fun! It snowballed from there. I started writing more scripts and doing more performances for other cities and schools. As well as theater groups were requesting my scripts to perform to.
At that point, I actually had to get a real job. But, then came On-Demand Publishing. So I thought I would print a few, and see how it goes. Well, I must say, it is going better than I had imagined! The absolute best part is seeing all the emails from teachers about how much their kids LOVED performing my scripts, and, most importantly, how happy they were to play with the Bard. The videos I have seen are amazing. I have seen kids perform Macbeth while dancing to Thriller, I have seen chase scenes that have gone through the audience and back stage with parents rolling in their chairs laughing, and I have seen countless kids wanting more and more Shakespeare. Oh yeah, and I have seen hundreds of kids melodramatically die on stage!
It is a great feeling, that I have been given the privilege to create this avenue for kids to embrace Shakespeare, at such a young age. It makes the kids happy, it makes the parents happy, the teachers happy, and me... happy. And I am sure, somewhere, Shakespeare is happy as well.
Happy Birthday Bard,
Brendan P. Kelso