Jill Holden and Dov Rudnick read from Proci et Puellae (a Lover and a Lass)

Here’s another surprising example from Erasmus’ Colloquia Familiaria.

If you have ever seen As You Like It and relished the cheeky brilliance of Rosalind and the pure silliness of the lovestruck Phebe, you may be startled, once again, to find some of their best lines presaged in this witty little play written by Erasmus forty years before Shakespeare was born! It’s actually a rather long one (with some sexy overtones and thoughts on maintaining a healthy marriage along the way) but we only recorded a few pages. They’re a lot of fun. It’s easy to see what stuck in the brain of the boy Shakespeare when he performed them in Latin at Stratford’s Latin grammar school, as part of his practice in conversation.

(Remember, Latin back then was NOT A DEAD LANGUAGE! It was the lingua franca, and required of every educated person entering any of the professions, because it allowed one to converse with any other educated person in any country throughout Europe; but casual conversation took practice. Thus, the “Colloquies.”)

The scene is a flirtatious courtship between the lover, Pamphilus, and his girlfriend, Maria. He’s trying to talk her into advancing their relationship to a new level, whatever that may be. Familiar?

Jill Holden has played the role of Phebe, and she immediately spotted echoes from this silly colloquy in her lines in response to Silvius:

Silvius: Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not Phebe;

Say that you love me not but say not so in

In bitterness. The common executioner…

… first begs pardon….

Phebe: I would not be thy executioner:

I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.

Thou tell’st me there is murder in mine eye:

Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,

That eyes, that are the frail’st and softest things,

Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers!

Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;

And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:

Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;

Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,

Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!

 

And Susan Angelo, also present in the audience, has played Rosalind! And SHE recognized THESE lines:

Orlando: Then, in mine own person, I die.

Rosalind: No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, in a love-cause. …….Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

 

And then, a bit later in the scene:

Rosalind: There are none of my uncle’s marks upon you: he taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.

Orlando: What were his marks?

Rosalind: A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected, which you have not!

Do you hear the same teasing images in this exchange?

(Again, this translation is my adaptation of the two rather dated existing translations from the Latin. Every line is by Erasmus. I’ve just tried to make it sound more like what contemporary young people might say.)

John Lithgow and Susan Angelo read Erasmus’ Colloquy, “Abattis et Eruditae”

It was the discovery of the Colloquia Familiaria written by Erasmus that got me started on my book ten years ago. I found a mention of them in a terrific biography of Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate, Soul of the Age,  and found a dusty old copy on line. When I started reading, I was astonished to find early models of the colloquial characters  that I loved as a kid watching Shakespeare’s plays: the clowns, shopkeepers, thieves, schoolmasters, bar flies, prostitutes, etc. These were short scripts written forty years before Shakespeare was born, for schoolboys, to teach conversational Latin! Just about every Latin grammar school in England had copies of the texts and scheduled the Colloquia in their statutes. To me it is glaringly obvious that, as a boy, Will Shakespeare performed them at school. Characters, circumstances, even specific images and lines show up all over his early comedies. I wondered why hardly anyone had ever seemed to notice.

Something else that amazed me were all of the whip-smart women characters that Erasmus created! Shakespeare is often noted for his luminous and opinionated women, often outsmarting and out-talking the men around them. Hello!? Erasmus’ women were doing that long before Shakespeare!

Much gratitude to the lovely Susan Angelo and my kid brother John Lithgow for this delightful cold reading of “Abattis et eruditae” at a salon I did recently at the home of my friend Susan Cambique Tracey. It is one of many of Erasmus’ colloquies featuring smart, sassy women. If you know As You Like It you might recognize the origins of Jacques’, “All the world’s a stage” and Touchstone’s line: “The fool doth think his is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” The second quote actually comes from Socrates, but I like to think Shakespeare read it first at school, performing the following colloquy IN LATIN when he was about twelve. I especially appreciate it that Erasmus has both wise sayings voiced by a woman.

Watch the entire colloquy here.

Remember that this colloquy was written in Latin, and it was not published in translation in Shakespeare’s lifetime. He performed it in school, in LATIN, and I like to think he played the part of Magdelena, the eruditae (well-educated woman), who was based on Sir Thomas More’s eldest daughter Meg.

(I should add that I have adapted from two very dated existing translations. I tried to make the lines sound more modern. Every line is, in fact, by Erasmus, and I’ve just made them sound as much as possible like what I think he would have wanted them to sound like in a contemporary, American dialect.  A closer translation of the first line from Latin would be, “What is all this mess?” My free adaptation, “What a Dump,” is, of course, an homage to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and “Girls just want to have fun” is, well you know! A closer translation would be “A woman’s business is pleasure.”)

This past weekend I had a chance to present some of the findings of my book, Good Behavior and Audacity to an audience of friends and arts educators. My ever-generous friend from the Music Center Education Division, Susan Cambique Tracey (featured in an earlier post), and her husband Paul sponsor about four salons each year devoted to the arts and arts education, and they invited me to do one. It was wonderful fun. Susan says the salons are their way of giving back, showing gratitude for their life in arts education, and I felt that gratitude glowing around me all afternoon. The session was documented in film so I’m excited that I will be able to share bits of it in upcoming posts.

I started the program with a visual exploration of these four woodcuts picturing Elizabethan classrooms. The first two are dated 1573, the very year that William Shakespeare turned nine, so looking at them you may imagine him as one of the boys pictured.

One result of the Humanist movement in early 16th century England was a robust interest in pedagogy, with many books written on the subject. One of the most famous of those teacher/authors was Richard Mulcaster, who just happened to train Thomas Jenkins and John Cotham, two of Shakespeare’s teachers at Stratford’s Latin grammar school. Reading his two books, Positions and Elementarie, was one of the igniting revelations that got me going on my own book, because of Mulcaster’s use of the arts in his daily instruction. The title of my book is actually taken from a quote by a 17th century jurist who had been a student at the Merchant Taylors’ School while Mulcaster was the headmaster. He credited Mulcaster with offering daily instruction in both vocal and instrumental music, accompanied by dance, and with using theatre to teach “good behavior and audacity.” Mulcaster also included drawing as one of the essential teachings for young children, so all of the arts were present in his school.

So now, my readers, I would like to engage you in the same visual exploration and see if we can draw some conclusions about Elizabethan classrooms.

Examine the four woodcuts closely and look for similarities and differences.

These images are all from the internet, and there isn’t much accompanying information about any of them, so I am in the same position as you are looking at them. What we see we see, and, using visual thinking strategies, what we conclude is what we conclude. I cannot verify our conclusions, but I do have the advantage of several years of research to draw upon and so I will add information where I can.

First of all, yes, indeed, that is a dog in two of the pictures. I have no explanation for the dog. (It does bring to mind the comic presence of a dog in both Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but those were not classroom dogs!) Is the presence of a dog an indication that those two classrooms were rural? Perhaps.

Also, this last one is much busier than the others, and much more crowded (and there is no dog), so perhaps this one depicts a school in London?

Here are a few more observations:

1. In each one the headmaster appears to be holding a rather exalted position, in a throne-like chair. And he has a switch close by in case he needs it to maintain control. In fact, in this last one another adult (likely an usher, or assistant teacher), is flogging the naked bottom of a boy.

I’ve read that flogging was not uncommon. In fact there were plenty of euphemisms for it, like “marrying the schoolmaster’s daughter,” or “learning a new song today.” But most of the books on pedagogy from the time, including those by Mulcaster, explicitly state that kindness and reason were preferable to corporal punishment. I suspect that the mere presence of the switch may have been enough to keep order in most cases.

2. In the last picture we see that there is musical notation on the back wall and there appears to be a child playing a keyboard instrument like a virginal and other children singing. Most statutes from the time list regular music instruction, and at least at Merchant Taylors’ School it was included every day.

3. In each picture there is a child standing in front of the headmaster, and in the last one there are several in line waiting their turn. They are reciting their memorized lessons from the classics, and from what I’ve learned about physical rhetoric, or “rhetorical dance,” they were required to do so with appropriate gesture, expression, and emotion.

4. The other children in the room are engaged in their own activities—reading, writing, or talking to or perhaps collaborating with the students next to them. They are paying no heed to the child in front of the headmaster, an indication that there was nothing out of the ordinary about a student declaiming his lessons; it went on all day long and attracted no attention.

5. There are no desks. The children are reading from and writing in notebooks, or tables. Remember that Hamlet, in his frenzy after his encounter with his father’s ghost, says, “My tables! Meet it is I set it down, / That one may smile and smile and be a villain!” He is talking about exactly what these children are holding: their own tables, which accompanied them to and from school every day. In those tables they wrote down the lines they were required to memorize. They also wrote down rhetorical figures they found in their classical readings and kept them organized in columns. At some point, they also wrote down their own invented examples of figures, often developed in collaboration with their peers.

6.  In the absence of desks, there is an open space in the center of the classroom. That open space was called a place to be heard: an auditorium. A stage!

So….setting aside the corporal punishment and the dog: focus on this thought: what does it mean for a child to go to a school where the core goal is to be seen and heard.

Arts colorBring back the arts!

(The following is a draft introduction to my book, Good Behavior and Audacity. I’m sure it will change before the book is published, but I’d love feedback on what I’ve written so far.)

In the hippie sixties, before I became a teacher, I was one of hundreds of free spirits spending as much time as I could in San Francisco. I was there in the summer of 1968, “the summer of love.” One evening I was in a café, and at the adjoining table were three policemen who had put their caps on the hat rack above us. I couldn’t help seeing that on the inside of each of the rims was a John Birch Society pin, and when they left, along with the tip, they left a pamphlet. I didn’t know much about the Birch Society, and I was curious, so I grabbed it and read it. The first sentence, the first page, in fact the entire pamphlet was about the need to abolish public education. The salient point was that, historically and until fairly recently, parents, not taxpayers, had paid for the education of their own offspring.

Why, it asked, should people with no children pay to educate those of others?

Perhaps to some this was, on its face, a reasonable question; but I scoffed in disbelief. What about the bedrock of a democracy? What about the foundation of a civil society? They can’t be serious! I wrote it off as pure far-right-of-right-wing malarkey and tossed it in the garbage.

I wish I had kept it! Within a year I had started a long career in public education, and over the decades I have viewed every new innovation and “reform” effort with wary suspicion, examining it through the lens of my memory of that pamphlet. I’ve followed the editorializing in the media, including my own LA Times, through the same lens. I’ve watched the erosion of the popular perception of public education go from a dribble to a river to a tsunami. It was with indescribably relief ten years ago that I devoured in one sitting Diane Ravitch’s book The Death and the Life of the Great American School System and discovered that someone with a voice of authority was finally documenting the lies.

 

But so far, Diane Ravitch’s voice alone has not been enough. The entirely deluded assumption that “private” is good and “public” is bad hardly existed in 1968, and yet only very recently a commentator on MSNBC made the cavalier statement, “Of course we all agree that public education is broken.” I had to scream at the screen, “NO, WE DO NOT ALL AGREE!!! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SAYING THAT?!!! Of course she didn’t hear me and thus took no offense. But I’ve spent my adult life as a public school educator and I have grandchildren now in public schools in three different states getting a fine education from excellent teachers, so I was shaken that nobody in the discussion challenged her.

I could go on a screed here about the Koch brothers (whose father was a Birch Society founder), the Waltons, charter school supporters, the distorted message of “school choice,” ALEC (the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council), and the slow but steady effort, by whatever malevolent forces there have been out there over the past fifty years to push formerly marginalized, negative views of public education front and center in popular discourse. But that’s not the point of this book.

 

The point of this book is that as a result of the growing distrust in public education, there has been a push for the rather vague concept of “accountability”; and the only relatively affordable—if highly dubious—method of measuring school accountability is the use of standardized tests. The use of, and preparation for, standardized tests have resulted in the virtual decimation of something we all used to take for granted: instruction in the arts for every child at every grade level.

I don’t think this happened intentionally. Maybe no policy maker said, “Stop putting easels and blocks in kindergarten rooms. Stop scheduling time for singing and dancing. Stop funding an orchestra program. Stop teaching speech and push your drama classes into an after school program for the ‘talented’ few.” But at the same time, something had to be sacrificed to make more room for preparation in the tested subjects: literacy and numeracy. The airy-fairy arts were seen as the most disposable candidate. Nobody stopped to take a long look at the hundreds of years of pedagogy that understood the connection between engagement in the arts and the healthy development of cognition.

 

Let me grant first that the perceived need for accountability has resulted in some beneficial policies and has perhaps shaken a few useless old customs loose. The creation of instructional standards have had great value used as guidelines and benchmarks. But the marriage of these standards to tests used to bludgeon struggling schools and turn innocent children into data points has been catastrophic. Because of the cloud of accountability, classroom time devoted to test preparation has reached feverish heights, and the 20% of time each day devoted to the arts, recommended in most state statutes since the founding of our nation, is by now a thing of the past. And yet, test scores have scarcely budged. In fact, if you factor in other measures of schools success—school culture and morale, attendance, graduation rates, teacher retention, student engagement, happiness—the picture gets gloomier and gloomier.

This book tackles the largely unexplored history of arts education: unexplored probably because it was always just a given. If we look back to Plato and then to the sixteenth century humanists, we see a thread throughout the centuries that notes the power of the arts to engage and entertain as they educate. It has been painful to watch the past few generations turn their backs on this wisdom. Universal instruction in the visual and performing arts is now history; and sure enough, as the ancients could have predicted, those revered test scores have languished. It’s time for educators to wake up.

Public education is not broken, but there are times when it seems to be on life support. It tends to be as good as the public makes it, and it could easily be revived with public commitment.

 

There’s a simple solution—an easy war to resuscitate the joy in universal, public education: Bring back the arts!

In response to the recent uptick in domestic violence:

Several years ago I received a call from a District Attorney, one of whose clients had been tried and convicted of a crime involving sodomy, rape, and murder. She was trying to keep him off of death row. He had been expelled from more than ten LAUSD schools, and she was trying to find a single teacher from one of those schools who could say something nice about him.

When she told me his name I vaguely remembered a small eighth grader who had briefly flitted, somewhat disruptively, through my drama class years earlier, before being expelled. At the time, I and his math teacher had voted not to expel him until he had been tested and recommended for placement in a program that could better serve his needs. The majority of the faculty just wanted to be rid of him.

“He’s not small anymore,” she said.

In preparing an argument for a life sentence instead of execution, she asked him to name a single teacher who might be able to say something good about him. He named two: me and one other. I could hardly remember him among the hundreds of kids who had passed through my classes, but he remembered me and one other teacher.

We were both theater teachers.

I am not saying theater could have changed him, could have redirected him, could even have saved him and the life of his victim; but I’m absolutely certain that was what HE was saying. And he wouldn’t be the first. You will probably never meet a theater teacher who can not claim to have “saved” a student and doesn’t have a story like mine. Most of the stories end happily. Most of mine do too. This one did not.

Students in our schools are desperate for avenues of self expression and self-definition. Experience in drama activities empowers students and gives them tools for positive and constructive communication. This has been true for hundreds of years and it will be true for hundreds more. Educators, take note.

Milan Dragicevich was in town recently and I got to attend one of the workshops based on his new book, The Persuasive Actor: Rhetorical Power on the Contemporary Stage. So brilliant! Fifteen years ago, Milan was the one who first got me hooked on rhetoric and fascinated by the way Shakespeare and tens of thousands of his peers practiced it.

Rhetoric had already been at the core of education for two thousand years when Will Shakespeare was in school. It was one of the three pillars of the Trivium, which defined the first stages of education for every child, in schools called “trivial” schools—essentially what we now call elementary schools. The Trivium was grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar (reading and writing) was the most basic, of course, and in the Middle Ages logic was elevated slightly above rhetoric because of the tortured attempts to make biblical teachings conform to the classical philosophers, mostly Plato and Aristotle.

But by the time Shakespeare went to school, rhetoric was ascendant. This is because of the impact of the curriculum designed by Erasmus. In its most simple terms, logic is IDEAS and rhetoric is the PACKAGING of ideas. Rhetoric is persuasion. Rhetoric is salesmanship. People can be persuaded, for better of for worse, of both fine ideas or foolish ones: wise and beneficial ideas or deadly ones. Erasmus knew that people tend to “buy” ideas that are well packaged, and he was intent on “selling” the classics to all educated persons. He truly believed that all knowledge and all wisdom could be found in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.

There are hundreds of rhetorical figures (also called devices, schemes, or tropes) that date back to the 5th century BC and the Sophists in Greece. Shakespeare learned most of his from Grammaticae artis institution by the German humanist, Johannes Susenbrotus, published in 1539. In his Epitome troporum Susenbrotus defines one hundred and thirty-two tropes and figures and gives examples of their use in ancient and contemporary literature. A few of them may be at least vaguely familiar to us today, but many won’t even pass spell check. How about apophasis, or zeugma, ekphrasia, anthypophora, anaphora, epistrophe, epanalepsis, anthimeria, chiasmus, epizeuxis, catachresis, anadiplosis, or hendiadys?

I’ve either peaked your interest or lost you. Either way, I’ve only scratched the surface. And, no, I can’t define them all myself, but I guarantee Shakespeare could. In my book, Good Behavior and Audacity, the chapter on rhetoric is called “Per quam figuram,” because that was the daily question a headmaster asked his students when they were speaking or writing: “What figure are you using?” And you can be sure they had to give a correct answer or answer for it!

The more you learn about them the more you understand the mystifying brilliance of the poetry of Shakespeare and dozens of his peers.

I have a pretty good chapter explaining the use, history, practice, and teaching of rhetoric, but I’m having to revise it (yet again!) after Milan’s workshop. If you’re interested, his book is a great place to start!

“IF YOU DON’T TEST IT, THEY WON’T TEACH IT!”

The following is a paragraph from the introduction to my book, Good Behavior and Audacity.  It describes the problem we had in the arts branch dealing with the fact that schools prioritized standardized test scores above all else in budget and scheduling decisions around instruction in the arts.

Standardized testing proved to be by far the greatest hurdle for us. There is a terrible irony in this.  There is no discipline in which authentic assessment—both self-assessment and audience assessment—is more embedded, at every stage, than in the discipline of art making; and yet it is the most difficult to objectively evaluate. Because of this, when the testing fever overwhelmed education in the 90s, I naively thought the arts would be spared. I was wrong. To quote my boss in the Arts Branch at the time, “If you don’t test it, they won’t teach it.”

education and school concept – little student girl studying at school

He was tragically correct. Of course you can evaluate performance in the arts: using elegant and precise rubrics, you can avoid the taint of subjectivity and give a grade to a project. But rubric-based evaluations are designed for in-class use, with a profound connection to the individual student working to improve through practice. Partly because of the element of subjectivity, but mostly because of the astronomical expense of grading such projects, it is not possible to create such a test as a standard measure across huge populations. We made valiant efforts to design and pilot cunning multiple-choice questions that could be included on national standardized tests, but they always boiled down to simple vocabulary. They did nothing to encourage the teaching of creativity. And yet history, common sense, and all the new research on brain development tell us that engagement in the arts is essential to the healthy development of cognition: or, as Plato and Mulcaster both said, the arts ‘frame the mind for learning.’

Test scores began to decline in the early 70s, at exactly the time the arts were being cut across the country, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the policy makers that there might be a connection.

Today it really seems that all they are learning is how to take tests. Is that really all we want them to learn?

And this, from my final chapter:

Here is where I permit myself a tirade. Testing. I have the chops to say what I am going to say. I’ve spent years in the classroom, and I share my concern with tens of thousands of teachers who have observed classrooms numbed by incessant test preparation. I’ve witnessed the terror in seven-year-old faces, the tears, the vomiting, the quivering chins, and the shaking hands (as though today’s children did not have enough cause for stress in their innocence). I’ve seen teenagers wilt with boredom after hours of studying test-taking skills and simply disappear into daydreams or rebel with outrageous behaviors. I know brilliant adults who have internalized a “below average” assessment of their own intellect for their entire lives because of one totally irrelevant SAT or IQ score. I’ve attended days of professional development, with free lunch provided, teaching me how to legally boost test scores. I know all the tricks. It’s legal but it’s still cheating! None of it, not one second of it, constitutes what I consider education.

It goes without question that there must be accountability, which is why educators have embraced academic standards. Standards give teachers, students, and their parents an observable measure for developmentally appropriate achievement, and as such they provide guideposts for instruction. The problem comes with their marriage to standardized tests and the elevation of these tests to a level far beyond what was intended by their developers. There are many ways to assess achievement, but authentic assessment is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Standardized tests, although they do not differentiate for learning modalities and give only a very narrow slice of the whole picture, are easy and relatively cheap (and the word “relatively” should be used with a footnote here, because educational testing is a billion dollar industry). They are tools that serve a limited purpose in narrowly focused studies to be used by educators in the context of their own practice in schools or classrooms. But making their results public, exposing innocent children to them, broadcasting them on banners on school fences, using them as bludgeons to punish struggling schools and hard working teachers, and making them the basis for financial rewards and the data for research in achievement is unconscionable abuse. Schools trying to educate under a shadow of “accountability” anxiety based on standardized tests abandon what they know about authentic instruction and resort to drill and kill. Classrooms suffer. Teachers suffer. Children who are turned into data points and who internalize the deceptive message of their test scores may suffer emotional damage that is irreversible.


 

I started and dropped this blog several years ago, so now I’m updating it.  Originally I had the idea that I wanted to start a foundation devoted to the study of the rich but largely undocumented history of the performing arts in education.  I was planning to call it the Richard Mulcaster Foundation, after the headmaster of the Merchant Taylors’ School in Elizabethan London, because in his two books on pedagogy he devotes many chapters to instruction in the performing arts.  It was a good idea, but it needed a more persistent person than I or a focused team to get it off the ground, so I abandoned it.

This time is different.  I’ve finished a book, Good Behavior and Audacity: Humanist Education, Playacting, and a Generation of Genius, and I’m looking to get it published.   I’ve started developing workshops and presentations about the enormous amount of performing arts and physical rhetoric (“actio”- acting) in Shakespeare’s education.

I’ll be updating this blog monthly.

In the meantime, back when I first started my research I made an attempt at updating some of Mulcaster’s writings on education.  Because of his ornate and discursive style it was a beastly task, but lest my work go completely to waste I’ve put it into a pdf below.  I’ll also pull from it in future posts.

About Richard Mulcaster


 

 

I have a house guest this week, Clara Trigo, amazing choreographer from Brazil here to do a workshop at the Electric Lodge.  (The workshop is called Poetic Instability.)  Clara doesn’t speak English all that well, but she was telling me about a presentation by a Dr. Carol Davis, at a conference in San Diego last week.  (It was conference on pilates.)  The presentation was about fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds all of our muscles and organs.  It is more extensive than skin.
What is fascinating about fascia is that it is, in fact, a sixth sense.  It processes information coming from our other senses.  And that’s what reminded me of my conversation with Dain Olsen earlier this summer.  Fascia is the sense that has to do with aesthetics – the processing of information through all the senses.  I think it must also be profoundly connected to our emotions and moods.
Fascia!  Who knew?!

I just ran across this marvelous passage in reading T.W. Baldwin, Vol II, Chapter XXXII:

Robert Whittington was considered the ultimate authority on rhetoric and we may fairly assume that Mulcaster was aware of him.  Here he writes in his Vulgaria in 1520, citing Cicero’s (Tully’s) Orator as his source and instructing the preceptor how to teach children to recite.  I’ve redacted it so that it is immediately readable, but have left unfamiliar words in the original script:

“Preceptor.  It is a rude manner, a child (have he never so [fylde or sylde] (silver? sweet?) a tongue and pleasant pronunciation) to stand still like an ass; and on the other side (as a carter) to be wandering of eyes, picking or playing the fool with his hand and unstable of foot….Therefore take head the countenance be made conformable to the purpose: now with gravity, now cheerful, now rough, now amenable, shaping meat unto matter (as I may say) like a glove to the hand … Also see that the gesture be comely with seemly and sober moving: sometime of the head, sometime of the hand and foot: and as the cause requires, with all the body … Of this thing whoever please to have more full knowledge, let him look upon Tully’s rhetoric.”

Clearly children were being taught theatre skills in the classroom in 1520!