Shakespeare's Heartbeat

Engaging students on the autism spectrum.

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is thrilled to partner with Francisco Middle School and Joseph Schmitz of Eureka Street Learning to present Shakespeare's HeartbeatShakespeare’s Heartbeat uses the Hunter Heartbeat Method developed by Kelly Hunter of Flute Theatre, uses the iambic pentameter (heartbeat rhythm) of Shakespeare's words and the physicality of his characters to engage with students on the autism spectrum. Interactive games and gestures are paired with short phrases from Shakespeare's works to improve social skills and help with identifying and expressing emotions.

Joseph Schmitz headshotSF Shakes teaching artist and autism theatre specialist Joseph Schmitz leads the program at Francisco Middle. In addition to being the founder of Eureka Street Learning, he works in technology, education, and theatre. When not making video, writing, or acting, he has the pleasure of teaching improv and video-making. He is a co-founder of Special Focus, a performing arts program for special education students in Northern California.