For the Jepson Shakespeare Project, Devani, Mel and I will be working with a group of students from Higher Achievement and will be performing Act 1 of the play. As the opening act of the production, we realize it is important how we set the tone of the rest of the play and as far as editing our play, it is crucial that we don’t cut major parts that will be referred to again later on in the play. When we were editing Act 1, we focused on cutting the nonessential lines and keeping the main ones that give the overall gist of what’s happening. We also tried to keep lines that would be easier for the kids to interpret as they are reading out their lines. The more condensed and clear their lines all, we feel the more fun they will have acting them out on stage. While I am excited to work with the kids, I am nervous to see how everything goes! It will definitely be a challenge to make them excited about reading Shakespeare. I am hoping we incorporate a lot of the theater games we have been discussing in class to make things more fun. Then we can take the time to walk them through the language in the play. After making the initial round of cuts for our play, we read it aloud and it was a little under 15 minutes. Since each act is typically around 20 minutes, we’re leaving this wiggle room for more possible edits and also to see how long it will take when the kids are reading the lines.

After finishing reading the play and watching the movie version, I’m so excited to start working with these kids! Melissa, Kit, and I will be working with Higher Achievement on Act 1. We have emailed the coordinators about a time to introduce the elective to the kids, but we have not finalized a date yet. Hopefully we will be working with them by next week! We have cut our Act down significantly by taking out lines that were wordy, unimportant, or we knew the children would not enjoy acting out. When we read it through as a group it was a little over 10 minutes, but we may have to cut the script down more when the children start actually performing it. We kept a lot of the funnier lines that are at the end of the Act because we thought the children would especially enjoy them. My hope for this project is to actually help the children better understand literature, drama, and the essence behind Shakespeare’s play. While I don’t know too much about theater, I really hope that this experience will help me (and the children) learn more about the history and theater of Shakespeare. In the past I’ve worked with Youth Life as a mentor and tutor in an academic setting, so I’m excited to broaden my experiences outside the classroom in a different type of environment!

We are act 1 for the play. We have considerably chopped down our act of the play. We have read through the lines in our act and it was about 12 minutes long running through without any stage acting or having children read through. We feel this is a good starting point for us since the students will have to learn to read the lines and include any onstage activity. We tried to keep the more important or famous parts of the play and exclude the parts we thought the kids wouldn’t need or understand.

We plan on trying to sell our elective this coming Friday. We have some concerns that the students may not be as interested as we would like but we will try our best to encourage them to try acting in the play. Hopefully they will learn more academically as well as socially from their experience. By next week we should have more concrete information on the interests of the students and how we feel the act will come along.