Each year, we give deserving teachers the Words in Action Award for their commitment to bringing Shakespeare to life for their students.
Who: Your grade school teacher, middle school teacher, high school teacher, college professor, post-graduate lecturer, theatrical instructor -- Any educator who has given you a deeper appreciation for Shakespeare as a playwright.
What: Nominees and their nominators will be eligible to win scholarships to ASC summer programs, such as No Kidding Shakespeare Camp, Teacher Seminars, or the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp, and will be recognized at Shakespeare's Birthday Party, held at the Blackfriars Playhouse on April 20th at 4:30pm.
When: Nominations end March 30th, 2014. We will contact winners in mid-April.
How: Use our Words in Action Nomination Form to submit a nomination. This year, we are also accepting nominations through Instagram. Record a message for up to 15 seconds sharing why you want to nominate your favorite Shakespeare teacher, add the hashtag #ascwordsinaction, and share the video URL on the nomination form. Instagram is a free app available for most mobile and tablet devices.
We look forward to hearing how remarkable educators have illuminated Shakespeare for you!
At the American Shakespeare Center, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to encounter excellent educators across a number of programs. For almost 10 years now, we’ve been giving outstanding teachers a “pat on the back” through the presentation of the Words in Action award. Since 2010, we’ve asked students to nominate their teachers for this award and have been touched by their words about these amazing people, so we shared them with our birthday party audience. The number of nominations we received tripled in 2011, in 2012, they grew 10-fold. We have found that the more nominations we receive, the more we are finding about teaching at every level. So, this year, for the first time, we are recognizing our Words in Action teachers across four programs.
These teachers have truly been great in “Act as [they] are in deed” and for their efforts on behalf of their students, they each receive scholarships to ASC Education programs and tickets to ASC shows.
The Words in Action winner for the Life-Long Learning Program at ASC, which includes our No Kidding Shakespeare Camp which is where we met her, is Anne, or as her students call her, “Bird” Cramer from New York. Bird, according to her students:
The Words in Action winner for Educator Resources, which includes Educational Residencies, which is where we met her, is Rebecca Wright from Pennsylvania. Rebecca teaches 2nd grade.
The Words in Action Award winner for College Prep Programs is Sue Ellen Tursack from Ohio. One of her nominators wrote a sonnet in which he “thanks Shakespeare and the one who brought him to me":
A song, a word, a dance, a dagger drawn,
A laugh, a chill, a love, a boiling rage,
A frightened look, a barely stifled yawn –
So pass the two hours' traffic of our stage.
Our stage, and yet the words belong to him,
Who walked our globe, who led another Globe,
Who twisted tales great and tales grim,
A masterpiece still living in our homes.
Still here his words enliven younger limbs;
Still now his thoughts take root in fresher minds.
Four hundred years, and yet we walk with him.
A hundred thousand days we trace his lines.
How does a thought live centuries and grow?
How do we love him? How did we come to know?
Finally, from our Research and Scholarship program, we recognize the great Megg Jaster, who brings her students to our Little Academes every spring, even when all of her funding has been cut.
Thank you for what you do, Megg, Sue Ellen, Becka, and Bird. We at the ASC salute you.
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Actors' Renaissance Season