(First written September 19th, 2015; Posted now)
This past week, Molly, Taylor, and I started our discussion about Act IV of Midsummers Night’s Dream. We systematically started to figure out the logistics of our scene including its duration, characters, and plot. While Molly and Taylor read and timed our act, I contacted the site contacts: Verenda and Laura. They seemed excited for our arrival. (It was a little relaxing to know that this was their first time with the Jepson Shakespeare project too!)
We knew little about our group but we wanted to familiarize and modernize Shakespeare. Granted we picked a pretty fun, comedic play that would allow for our students’s personalities to shine. We wanted to assign characters a little later so we could get to know our students. Being that we were working with high schoolers, I was excited and hesitant to work with them. I was just in high school a little over a year ago, I understood the angst and stress of high school. I had many questions before we started our endeavor at John Marshall High School.
1) Being only a few years older, would they listen to us? How should we interact with them – as a mentor or teacher?
2)Do these children know who Shakespeare is?
We do know that the students are reading Midsummers Night’s Dream in class so they will have an understanding of the play, the characters and their motivations, and etc. They may even be able to help us with staging because they may envision the blocking differently. When I emailed Laura, she estimated that approximately 15 students would show up. Are all of these students in her English classes? So is this a supplemental class or project to her class or is this an after school activity. I guess that we will find out when we meet Laura and the students!