August 6, 2020


“Wild Bill” Shakespeare Thinking About His Ungrateful Children

Episode 1: “Kids and Parents, Parents and Kids”
A Weekly Remote Seminar for Adults
Meet Online Wednesdays 730-9pm 
Six Meetings, September 2 – October 7
Tuition: $60


Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course


This Short Course is for:

People who want to renew their acquaintance with Shakespeare

Parents who want to explore how Shakespeare portrays family dynamics

Teachers who want to spice up their curriculum

Seekers who are looking for ways to stoke their curiosity

Strivers who can use the wisdom and insight only “Wild Bill” Shakespeare provides


Henry IV, Part 1 
Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Maxine Peake
Directed by Richard Eyre

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer

Merchant of Venice 
Al Pacino, Lynn Collins, Mackenzie Crook
Directed by Michael Radford

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer

Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber
Directed by Michael Almereyda

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer



What if the greatest screenwriter of our time died 400 years ago?

In this remote weekly short course, we take a deep dive into the Bard by watching thoroughly modern movies with recognizable actors (Tim Hiddleston, Julia Stiles, Bill Murray, Lynn Collins, Ethan Hawke). We engage with three works that deal with relations between kids and their parents (Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet).

First, we read each play and share our ideas. Then we watch a film version and share our ideas. We discuss how Shakespeare portrays the parent-child dynamic. We look for insight into the human condition, for how these plays help us frame our family life, our professional life, our life in the world. We see how Shakespeare has changed since we last met him in high school or college. Maybe, just maybe, we get better.



This short course has no homework except reading the plays and watching the films.
Meetings are conducted through Google Meet once a week, 60-90 minutes each.

* We limit enrollment to 6 participants per cohort. Every participant will participate.

* Our sessions run 60-90 minutes.

* We view key scenes from multiple productions.

* We meet for 6 sessions, covering 3 plays. For one session, we read the play; for the next, we watch the film.

* provides Review Guide for each play.

Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course


Shakespeare created fascinating characters and showed viewers what “character” was. He hammered out powerful plots and plots within plots, and he made ideas live, so much so that people still gather round, not just to listen but to talk back.

Henry IV, Part 1  Prince Hal loathes his father but longs to please him. King Henry is sickened by his son’s antics but hopes he’ll turn himself around. Meanwhile, rebels are banging at the castle door.

Stream: Henry IV, Part 1 (2012) Streaming Online
Text: Henry IV, Part 1 | The Folger SHAKESPEARE

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer

The Merchant of Venice Business tycoon Antonio borrows money from Shylock, a Jewish financier. If Antonio can’t pay the loan back, he has to let Shylock cut off a pound of flesh from his body. Everybody, including Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, and the fair Princess Portia, has skin in the game.

Stream: The Merchant of Venice (2004) Streaming Online
Text: The Merchant of Venice | The Folger SHAKESPEARE

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer

Hamlet A college student is called home because his father has been murdered. Meanwhile, his uncle has married his mother. His girlfriend Ophelia is a basket case. Hamlet can’t decide whether to kill himself or kill his father’s killer.

Stream: Hamlet (2000) Streaming Online
Text: Hamlet | The Folger SHAKESPEARE

Click Photo to Watch a Trailer

****Finding the Text and Films****

We are using the text published by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Other editions may vary.

* Free Digital Texts and Supplementary Materials: The Folger SHAKESPEARE.
* Print Editions with Annotations available for $9.99: The Folger SHAKESPEARE.
* Streams available free or for rent/purchase starting at $1.99
* DVD versions available through many local libraries.



Reading Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 in college convinced me I wanted to spend my life in literature. Dr. Leon Stokesbury made the text come alive with his reading and made my brain tingle with his commentary. At UT-Austin, I was privileged to study Shakespeare with Dr. Eric Mallin and Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza. These distinguished professors helped deepen my experience and broaden my views on what made the Bard so worthy of bardolatry. I served as Graduate Assistant to Dr. John Rusckiwiez in his popular undergraduate course, Shakespeare and His Discontent. I directed a studio production of Henry IV, part 1 in 2017 with a teenage cast.

I’ve been a writer, editor, and educator for over 30 years. My published work includes journalism, textbooks, academic writing, advertising, historical nonfiction, poetry, and music. I’ve written and recorded my own songs and co-written songs with other artists. As an educator, I specialize in Writing, Literature, and the Liberal Arts. I focus on the participants, who they are and how they can benefit from our time together.

I know that anyone who cares about learning can learn. I earned my Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin plus 36 hours of additional coursework. During the past few years, I have offered private courses to the Austin homeschooling community and also through Hill Country Academy and Austin Community College.

Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course

Adult Short Course: Taking Shakespeare to the Movies

Tuition is $60.

There are 6 meetings in the term.

COHORT meets Wednesdays 7-930pm, September 2 – October 7.
No meeting Thanksgiving Week.


Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course


Meeting 1 Discuss Shakespeare’s life and times and major works. Discuss HIV themes.
* Preparation: Read synopsis and play, Henry IV, Part 1

Meeting 2 Discuss HIV production. Review select scenes from other productions.
* Preparation: Watch HIV, complete review guide

Meeting 3 Discuss Merchant themes. 
* Preparation: Read synopsis and play, Merchant.  

Meeting 4 Discuss Merchant production. Review select scenes from other productions.
* Preparation: Watch Merchant

Meeting 5 Discuss Hamlet themes. 
* Preparation: Read synopsis and play, Hamlet

Meeting 6 Discuss Hamlet production. Review select scenes from other productions.
Deliver a short presentation on the impact of this experience. 
* Preparation: Watch Hamlet.

Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course