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Basalt Middle School Students Learn Violence Prevention Through Shakespeare

Mar 1, 2020

Credit Allison Johnson / Basalt Middle School

Actors from the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Violence Prevention Program performed at Basalt Middle School last week. The program uses live performances and roleplay to teach students Shakespeare literacy and ways to intervene when they see violence in school.

Royce Rosewood is a professional actor with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival program. He says using a play like Romeo and Juliet lets students watch how violent themes unfold. Actors then lead discussions to come up with ways to prevent that violence. 

Royce Rosewood, left, stands in front of a classroom at Basalt Middle School. He role plays with a student to show how to help stop violence in school.
Credit Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

“The one thing I want them to take away is that there is always something that you can do if you’re aware of violence and mistreatment," Rosewood said. "There’s always something they can do and what we don’t want them to do is do nothing.”

Rosewood says teaching intervention strategies like communication is helpful to prevent violence between two people. The program also gives students information for resources like Safe2Tell and Colorado Crisis Services if they or someone they know is planning to harm themselves.