Shakespeare shorts

Snippets of Shakespeare are being performed all over the Valley this week. An intermediate class at Childsplay in Tempe has 8-12 year olds working on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” this week. And Paradise Valley Community College performs “Twelfth Night” for a final weekend — June 24 & 25 at 7:30pm and June 26 at 2pm — at the PVCC Center for the Performing Arts.

A “youth and education” cable channel operated by the City of Phoenix, know99 Television, presents “Shakespeare Shorts” this Thurs, June 23 at 8am and noon. It features leading actors discussing the motivations of major characters in scenes chosen from five Shakespeare plays, using clips from past television and film versions of the works.

These Shakespeare shorts from Cafe Press feature a quote from Twelfth Night

If you’ve never explored know99 offerings, you can click here to learn more. Turns out they offer programming in six subject areas they call “teach,” “word,” “think,” “arts,” “science,” and “society.” They even have “know99 stories” on things like the Audubon Center, Academic Decathlon and Ballet Folklorico — plus a place for viewers to suggest story ideas.

The education access channel also offers something called “Student Film Presentation” every night at 10:30pm. It “showcases the productions of elementary, high school and college students.” The channel “accepts documentaries, shorts and full-length films” (click here for submission details). Local films they’ve featured include “The Artist” by Jennifer McCuen and Heather O’Neil, “Writers Block” by Jake Cibik and many others.

Evening programming on know99 Television includes “Inside Creative Minds” (which “showcases the work, knowledge, passion, and talent of people throughout the Valley”), “Beyond Our Borders” (which features “living images of world cultures”) and “Link” (which focuses on “world music, current events, films & documentaries”). “Explore” segments feature documentaries “showcasing nonprofit efforts & leaders around the world.”

The channel also offers “youth at-risk/prevention” programming. There’s “Connect With Kids” (with “true stories of youth dealing with issues like bullying and drugs”), “Four More Days” (showing “dangers of drinking while driving”), “Online Predators: Invading MySpace & A Parent’s Guide” (about how to protect yourself online) and more. Even something called “Scenarios USA” — with winning teen scripts made into short films with the help of Hollywood producers.

The beauty of Shakespeare Shorts on TV is the fact that you can watch them in your Shakespeare shorts

Shakespeare knew a thing or two about youth (and adults) enjoying risky behaviors only to suffer heartbreaking or hilarious consequences. Check out “Shakespeare Shorts” this week to learn more about his take on human nature. Then enjoy all the jealousy, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and dueling of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at Paradise Valley Community College.

If you find yourself wanting more, stay tuned for 2011/2012 offerings from Arizona’s own Southwest Shakespeare Company — and consider a family trip to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where you can enjoy several of Shakespeare’s works over the course of just a few days.

— Lynn

Note: PVCC’s production of “Twelfth Night” is directed by Eric Schoen, well-known to Valley theater goers for performances with Southwest Shakespeare Company, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company and more. Schoen is also the founder and artistic director of Class 6 Theatre in Phoenix, which just completed its second season.

Coming up: Art meets market, Bullying and the arts, Bike shorts? (featuring an update from the Blue Bike Kids Show, which has the honor of being “Kickstarter” of the day today)

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