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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Stratford Festival expands online teaching tools

PerformancePlus provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the play in performance

April 5, 2016… The Stratford Festival is greatly enhancing its online teaching toolkit with PerformancePlus. Created by the Festival’s Education Department in collaboration with D2L Corporation, PerformancePlus is designed primarily for use by students and teachers, but is available for public use on the Festival’s website.
PerformancePlus integrates Shakespeare’s text with an HD video of a live performance at the Stratford Festival, allowing for dynamic engagement with Shakespeare’s works in the classroom or during individual study.

“We wanted to develop a way to really bring these wonderful plays to the classroom,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, “showing students that Shakespeare can be vibrantly alive in the very same media they use to navigate and explore the world around them.”

PerformancePlus is an ideal primary tool for delivering the Grade 9 to 12 curriculum. It presents a world-class Stratford Festival performance alongside Shakespeare’s script, highlighting each piece of dialogue as it is delivered by the actor, offering an unparalleled clarity of understanding.

PerformancePlus goes live on March 31 with King Lear. More titles will be added as the Festival continues with its new initiative to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays in HD over the next 10 years.

“We are launching PerformancePlus with our HD production of King Lear, an ideal title for the education market,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Part of our motivation for introducing the Stratford Festival HD series is to make the plays available to students and teachers. By the end of this year, we will have nine productions in our catalogue of Shakespeare films, providing an incredible tool for classrooms around the world.”
With PerformancePlus, students are able to read and watch the play at the same time, and can easily pause at any moment to explore additional content, including mouse-over definitions of words and expressions. The site offers scene selection, character descriptions, scene-by-scene plot outlines, thought-provoking essay questions and more – all of which can be easily and successfully navigated during individual or class study. Video enhancements include interviews with actors and directors offering insight into the play, its concepts, themes and character development.

PerformancePlus King Lear can be accessed on the Stratford Festival website:

Stratford Festival HD is sponsored by Sun Life Financial as part of their Making the Arts More Accessible™ program. Support for Stratford Festival HD is generously provided by Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, the Jenkins Family Foundation, the Henry White Kinnear Foundation, Ophelia & Mike Lazaridis, Sandra & Jim Pitblado, the Slaight Family Foundation, and Robert & Jacqueline Sperandio. The Festival also acknowledges the generous support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

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