Greetings from Robert Clover-Brown (Mr. CB) formerly known as “Shakespeare Man” – holder of a Master of Arts degree in History from Cambridge University (MA); a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (FCA); an experienced actor and touring teaching artist, and an American Citizen since June 2006!
Mixed into those specifics is an AP-level education in French and German, and numerous, extensive road trips across the English Channel to experience the rich diversity of both countries in person (only once venturing into the “Chunnel” below the water). So teaching French as a year-long French 1 (Beginners) class and French 2 (Intermediates) class, is a real pleasure.
A FCA in England holds an equivalent business qualification to an American CPA, and for many years part of my brain was devoted to pursuing an entrepreneurial career as CFO for a diverse mix of corporations, and an investor. Teaching an one semester class in fall or spring – using Abeka’s “Economics: Work & Prosperity in a Christian Perspective” as our text book – is an enjoyably relevant experience.
Another part of my brain has been devoted, also for many years, to working in theatre, on and off stage, and on camera – being featured in TV commercials and in print advertising. My Central London agents were flatteringly called the Ugly Agency and several of my commissions involved portraying Shakespeare, in full costume.
Following a move with my family from London to Dallas in 2002, I have again been featured in TV commercials and print advertising; taught drama and AP European History, coached upper school actors at two private schools; devised workshop productions for performance by secondary school students; written and performed a teacher training DVD for Dallas Opera’s Education Dept., and worked as a consultant for CNM’s IMPACT Project for Performing Arts.
I have also created and teach after-school acting classes (5th grade, MS and HS) at the Dallas International School in Richardson – which follows the French curriculum.
As a touring teaching artist I created, wrote and performed a wide variety of “Shakespeare Man” programs in my role as William Shakespeare, for local theatres, schools, libraries and adult groups across Texas and far beyond.
So a live appearance, in my Shakespeare costume, on WFAA Good Morning Texas, sandwiched between two rap artists and Father Christmas with his reindeer, was intriguing and eye-opening!
While on tour, as Robert Clover-Brown I have offered “Insider’s insights into English literature and history,” which draw on my lifelong fascination with, and study of, European literature and culture; made in-depth presentations about Shakespeare’s life and work; taught drama classes, and coached student actors.
Among many great novelists, poets and dramatists within the European Literary Canon – in addition to Shakespeare, as implied above – I am particularly drawn to the life and work of Austen, Cervantes, Chekhov, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Ibsen, Mansfield, Stoppard and Woolf.
I therefore feel especially blessed to be creating and teaching classes at THEO which, in addition to those mentioned above, include the following classes: European Literature (including Shakespeare ) & Literature in Action (JH and HS) all three year-long; Spiritual Values in Shakespeare & Storyboarding: Illustrating literature (both one semester)
My performance-based year-long acting classes will continue to comprise Acting 1, 2 and 3. Their dress rehearsals and performances in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will, health considerations permitting, again be located at The Core Theatre in Richardson – an ideal small theatre for our students, their families and their friends.
For students who are eager to interact with creatively minded colleagues, but may not wish to take on a full acting commitment (or to learn lines!) the year-long Improvisational Theatre class (grades 6-12) has proved to be ideal.
I am also keen to continue THEO’s involvement in the English Speaking Union’s (ESU) Shakespeare Monologue Contest for HS actors. Our representative at ESU’s regional contest in 2018 was placed Second, and was followed by a First Place winner in 2020, amidst a large group of talented young actors. So it was all the more sad that her wonderful prize, an expenses paid trip to the National Finals in New York, was cancelled! The winner of THEO’s internal auditions in November 2020 will compete in ESU’s regional contest in February 2021.
My American-born wife, Lesley, and I are members of HPUMC, where we were married in 1994. We have a daughter who graduated from UT in 2017 and is a fourth year medical student at Baylor Medical School in Houston, and a son who graduated from UT in June 2020 with a degree in Arts & Entertainment Technology. My oldest son is married to an American girl whom he met while they were undergraduates at Hampshire College MA. They are living and working near Northampton MA and welcomed their first child, a boy, into the family in February 2017 (my first grandchild!).
Lesley is a SMU Fine Arts graduate, and, having qualified as teacher in late 2019, is returning to Bradfield Elementary (HPISD) to teach a class of Pre-K Special Needs/Gen Ed children this Fall, and I have volunteered for Night Owls and Jesters at HPUMC, which offer remarkable special needs programs, including theatre.
Mr. Clover-Brown has some informative videos for you to view. Click on the title to view.