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Recent Blog Postings

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018
At Harlem Academy, being smart is cool. Our students don’t shy away from challenging academics; they opt for more. Take Shakespeare, one of the most difficult texts students will face at any grade level, let alone in sixth grade. Harlem Academy middle schoolers develop such love and appreciation for the Bard that studying his plays in class isn’t enough for many of them. One quarter of them choose Shakespeare as an elective, too. “The students are drawn to the challenge the language presents...
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Students performing Shakespeare
  The strength of our students' performances comes from the confidence they develop by interpreting Shakespeare in their own way. Seventh grader Delali is not your typical theater kid. In class and with friends, she is soft-spoken and shy. At the recent Shakespeare Smackdown, however, she commanded the audience, delivering her lines in a clear, emphatic voice and making the crowd laugh as she threw herself across the stage with two classmates. This citywide competition with the Classic...
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016
Taneyah and Misa perform in the 2016 ShakeSmack
Taneyah and Misa perform at the 2016 ShakeSmack. For the fourth year in a row, Harlem Academy’s Shakespeare troupe was recognized for their outstanding work, this year earning both first and second place honors at the Classic Stage Company’s annual Shakespeare competition. Dubbed the “Shakespeare Smackdown,” the competition featured twenty-five middle and high school teams from across New York City, each performing short scenes from Othello. Their success is no accident – Harlem Academy...
Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015
Harlem Academy students at the Shake Smack
Last week, three groups from Harlem Academy performed of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the 2015 Shakespeare Smackdown (ShakeSmack) hosted by the Classic Stage Company out of Greenwich Village. Most of the teams were from high schools, but Harlem Academy teams of sixth through eighth grade students took both first and second place. In preparation for ShakeSmack and as part of our electives offerings, our 12 students worked hard over the past 4 weeks rehearsing their...
Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Middle school students display both creepiness and joy as the Three Witches in “Macbeth.” Photo courtesy of the Classic Stage Company.
A performance-based unit draws middle school students into the works of William Shakespeare. Middle school students display both creepiness and joy as the Three Witches in “Macbeth.” Photo courtesy of the Classic Stage Company. “What’s Hermia thinking here?” Whitney Wood, middle school English teacher, asks the the sixth graders seated around her. They pause their line-reading of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." “Hermia doesn’t want to marry Demetrius,” says one. Another adds, “...