We have just completed our first Shakespeare club week and, whilst it is hard work, everyone is laughing lots and thoroughly enjoying themselves. It has definitely been worth all the hours I’ve put in over the past four weeks.
Each afternoon the guys work for a couple of hours on their projects. As you know from this previous post the children needed to pick a different medium for each act and begin to work on their end of year’s presentation, which will be a performance of the entire Midsummer Night’s Dream in mixed media.
I thought I’d share the choices each child has made, and their ideas for making it come to fruition, act by act.
B13 and T13 working together
Scene I: Theseus and Hippolyta will be videoed taking a romantic stroll in an Athenian wood. This video will be set in modern times, with the Surrey Shakespearean Stragglers acting the parts. The boys will rewrite the play in modern speech and film on location in a nearby forest.
Scene II: This will be a continued video from scene I, only instead of actors it will be in text messages with voice overs. Scene II is the scene whereby the workers discuss which parts each shall play in their own lamentable comedy about Pyramus and Thisby.
B13 and T13 working together
All of Act II will be performed using Reader’s theater. The boys will play the narrators in the play and they are going to rope the audience into playing each of the characters needed. This act requires little out of them, just highlighting each readers’ theater script and assigning parts, both of which they have done this week.
K11 (with help from Lorna and me)
K has chosen to do the traditional play, with Shakespeare’s original language and set in the 1600’s. She will chose actors to play each character and they will wear the traditional costume of the day. She will also need to do proper scenery.
Although we are here to help K, I am still hoping it will essentially be her project. This is by far the hardest Act and medium to work with, which is why we will be on hand to help whenever she needs us.
As Act III is a fairly long act. K and Lorna will be cutting some of it out, and narrating some of it. The children only have two and half weeks to memorise lines, which is hard anyway, but made harder by the old English and unfamiliar rhythm.
Scene I: Part Narration. Bottom and Titania scene acted
Scene II: Part narration/ part acted. All of Oberon’s scene will be narrated, whilst the four lovers’ scene will be acted.
Scene I: This will be a modern music style reproduction of the scene. C has rewritten the scene into a modern day play, remaining faithful to the thread of the story, but it will be set in modern times with modern dress and modern speech. She will be including acting, singing and dancing, sort of Glee/ musical theater style. The songs she has chosen are fabulous and somehow fit in with her story line perfectly!
Scene II: C will rewrite this scene as a narration to ensure continuum onto Act V
This act will begin with a short narration linking Act IV to Act V. Act V contains the workers’ ‘lamentable comedy’ which they perform for the Duke, his betrothed and the four lovers. L has decided to set up the aforementioned characters, dressed up in 1600’s garb, to watch the workers (the Duke’s Players) perform their play.
The play will be put on with the help of Lorna and myself, as a puppet show, using the original, Shakespearean text. L intends to make a large puppet theater from scratch, and make wooden spoon puppets. I always love to see the creativity which goes into L’s projects so I am looking forward to seeing this one come to fruition.
We only have two and half weeks until our performance of a mixed media ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’. What do you think? Can we manage it?
Other Shakespeare Posts up on the blog this week