The Puck Project: A Shakespeare Performance and Ethics Program for Kids


  • John Gulledge Emory University
  • Kelly Duquette
  • Mary Taylor Mann



early childhood literacy, bioethics, sociodrama, performance studies, empathetic imagination, emotional intelligence, translation, embodied pedagogy


The Puck Project is a performance-based summer program for K-6 learners in partnership with a non-profit agency that supports homeless families in Atlanta, GA. The Puck Project’s curriculum focuses on the ethical toolkit individuals acquire when they embark upon a journey of performance. The project’s aim was to cultivate skills relevant to building a community, formulating and expressing ideas as a team, reading and responding to the emotions of others, and accessing and attending to emotions in oneself. Together these skills serve a larger aim of cultivating what Gretchen Case and Daniel Brauner have called “empathetic imagination.” Central to empathetic imagination is translation, a powerful framework for pedagogical aims such as “transfer” and “carrying over.” The Puck Project de-centers the dramatic text in favor of the learner’s lived realities. Using Rex Gibson’s theory that the ambiguities of Shakespeare’s plays provide the soil in which actors may create their own meaning and experience, the Puck Project encourages performers to provide their own translations of a script based on their unique histories. We discuss how young performers are able to make connections about embodied expression, emotional intelligence, and broader forms of literacy.




How to Cite

Gulledge, J., K. Duquette, and M. T. Mann. “The Puck Project: A Shakespeare Performance and Ethics Program for Kids”. Early Modern Culture Online, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 45-65, doi:10.15845/emco.v7i1.2836.