Barbershop teaches children importance of Shakespeare

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

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PINEVILLE, N.C. - From “Romeo and Juliet” to “Macbeth” and “Othello” -- those are just some of William Shakespeare's most well-known stories. Channel 9 found out that one local man is teaching children about the importance of Shakespeare -- in an unusual place.

Earlier this year, Slicer’s Barber Shop and Styling Lounge customer Mark Williams came up with the idea to teach Shakespeare's centuries-old tragedy "Othello" to children at the barbershop over the summer.

“That’s all it is, an opportunity to open their minds and learn something different over the summer,” said Williams.

But first, he enlisted the help of the barbers at the Pineville barbershop as his co-instructors.

“Everybody’s eyes got wide. It was something interesting because none of us has ever read Othello before, so we were all down for the experiment,” said barbershop owner Allen Jackson.

“So we read right here two nights a week for about three hours a night here in the barbershop after they closed, for about two and a half months,” added Williams.

So the men got ready to travel back in literary time, for eight weeks of lessons with eager students.

It’s challenging,” said Caleb Aleen.

“At first, it was really hard. Now it’s easy,” said Samantha Williams.

For those doing the teaching, the experience has been rewarding.

“If we can get one person, one of these young men or ladies, to be able to quote a nice passage for us and to be able to walk away and say they learned Othello at a barber shop. Shakespeare in a chair,” said Jackson.

You can learn more about Shakespeare in a Chair here.