Tomorrow is the very first day Allison, Taylor, and I will head over to meet with our gang of future fairies (and Athenians) at John Marshall High School, and I have to admit that I am a bit intimidated. There are two questions floating around in my head that are at the root of my nerves of the journey tomorrow:
- Will our age proximity to the high schoolers result in them respecting us less (because we could easily be their older siblings) or more, because of the chance that they mistake us for cool, older, wiser college kids?
- We have no idea whether the children we are working with have chosen to take part in this project, or are being forced into it as a school assignment/after school project. I think it will make a big difference whether or not this is a self-selected group with some enthusiasm, or a group that will be bored out of their minds before we can even rope them in with the Bottom’s booty jokes.
As for our script, our team has a pretty unique Act to wrangle in. Act IV involves every single character from the play, includes the climax, but is the shortest act. After multiple read-throughs, our approach has been to cut the second scene and focus on the first part of the Act, whole shortening some of the longer speeches. We have decided to strengthen the female roles by giving Hippolyta power over Theseus’s final decision through our staging, and by making Hermia and Helena the victors of the love pairing, rather than the men being the victors over them.
Tomorrow, I hope to give the kids a solid explanation of our planning and find innovative ways to keep them (or convince them to be) excited about the project.