I am actually kind of sad that the Jepson Shakespeare Project is now over. Going off campus to Boushall middle school once a week was a breath of fresh air away from the college campus bubble. Even though at times it was extremely difficult to deal with the children and they would not always behave, they definitely showed enthusiasm for the project throughout the whole semester. I think we were most successful in teaching them about plays in general. For instance, I remember the first day many of the kids did not know what a play was or who William Shakespeare was. Now they understand both of these things, as well as some of the basic principles of theatrics. Since they were so young, it was harder to keep them focused on learning about William Shakespeare and the play itself because it was late at night and none of them really wanted to learn. While we tried our best to teach them both of these things, I am not sure how much of it actually stuck with them.
When reflecting on the day of the play I thought the whole day went pretty smoothly. Besides Higher Achievement being late, all the other groups seemed to get there on time and were prepared for their parts. It was really cool to see how different the Acts were. I thought the Act that was mostly just our classmates did really well!! I also liked the Act that played the music and I thought it brought a whole new set of vibes to the performance. I think Act 5 killed it with the acting and it was especially entertaining to watch.
The day of the play was very exciting! Higher Achievement ended up leaving a little later than expected. Me and Melissa were waiting outside the Webb for them to pull up when we saw their shuttle drive straight past us. About ten minutes later we saw their shuttle pull up again and I ran to get them. Kesha wanted me to get on the bus to show them where to park so I got on just to drive about 50 feet to meet Melissa. When I got on the bus the kids were really excited and they really liked my face paint which I think got them even more excited. When we got off the bus me and Melissa walked the group back up to Perkinson where Dr. Bezio did all of their face makeup. The girls all brought pretty fancy dresses to change into and were really excited to get their makeup done. The boys were also particularly excited to get their face makeup done. While the kids were pretty rambunctious and wouldn’t really listen to us before the play, once they got on stage they actually settled down a lot.
I believe we ended up having about nine students total, missing two that we expected to be there. We were able to arrange the characters in a way so the kids who wanted to speak more got the lines of those who were missing. Getting the children the appropriate props and getting them on stage went smoothly. Their performance was okay for their age and how much they had practiced. They tended to speak very monotone and stood in a straight line the whole time, reading off the paper. Some of them used a little bit of enthusiasm in their delivery, but most of the kids forgot everything we had taught them and didn’t really use an theatrics. I think a lot of them may have gotten stage fright. When they got off the stage they sat in the audience and behaved pretty well when watching the other Acts. Overall, I think Higher Achievement did pretty well.