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All the world’s a stage as Chicago artists judge Shakespeare

Glasgow schools benefited from the knowledge and expertise of international teaching artists this month, when visiting Chicago artists Khanisha Foster and Meade Palidofsky made a guest appearance on the judging panel at the annual 15 Minute Shakespeare Competition, held in Glasgow from 17-18 June by the Citizens Theatre.

Entire Lower Secondary group in 15 minute Shakespeare competition. Photo by Helen Black

The 15 Minute Shakespeare Competition saw pupils from eight schools present 15 minutes from any of Shakespeare’s plays. With performances including The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the young actors had to be creative with only three chairs and a table as props.

Bannerman High School won the lower school competition with their version of Macbeth and the upper school prize went to St Margaret Mary’s for their gripping scene from King Lear.  Performing to an audience made up of members of the Citizens’ Theatre Society, fellow students, teachers, friends and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, the atmosphere was electric!

Roddy Macpherson, Neil Packham , Louise Brown Kathleen Hamilton , Meade Palidofsky , Jeremy Raison  and Khanisha Foster

Commenting on the exchange, guest artist Khanisha Foster said: “I am floored by both the similarities between our two cities (Chicago and Glasgow) and the beautiful unique qualities that live in both.  I have been a learner, a teacher, an artist and an audience member here in Scotland.  This exchange and the work the Citizens Theatre does has forever changed my own work and will live with me forever. Glasgow, we are officially sister cities’

Citizens Theatre was one of three organisations to host the exchange programme which has been established by the Scottish Arts Council in partnership with the Centre for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP), Columbia College, Chicago. The Scottish leg of the exchange brought three experienced American teaching artists to Scotland to share ideas on creativity and arts education and to build on the work of the Arts Across the Curriculum programme.

The two week visit aimed to promote and exchange best practice, strategies and ideas for bringing arts to the whole curriculum, including those in marginalised group and within the custodial setting.  During their visit, the three teaching artists had the chance meet and work with arts education professionals across Scotland, from Argyll and Bute to Aberdeen.


Taking part in events such as the 15 Minute Shakespeare Competition, an international exchange with a theatre company from Sweden, Lansteartern and a Books, Reading and Writing network meeting, the artists had the opportunity to explore different ways of working in Scotland. They also had the chance to share their own expertise; leading a variety of workshops with community and education groups in Glasgow, including the National Drama Network Conference and leading a writing workshop for a P2 class on the Reading Bus in Aberdeen.

Related internet links
* Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Chicago, USA
* Citizens Theatre
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