Jepson Shakespeare Project Act V Week 4

I thought that this week at youth life was one of our most productive weeks thus far. We finally had all five of our theatre students in attendance, and were able to distribute all of the roles among the students. Another very positive thing that came out of this week was that we were able to run through significant portions of scenes. One great thing that came out of this was that we finally were able to move “beyond the lines” so to speak and focus on how the lines were to be read and the appropriate movements associated with the scene. I thought that this was a huge step in the right direction for us as it showed that in some sense the play was finally starting to come together. In addition, one very bright spot of the play that really has the kids excited is Feste’s song at the end of the play. At this point the kids are thinking that they want to do some sort of dance at the end of the play, what that means and what it will ultimately look like is still to be determined. One really bright spot that came out of this week was, one student Marcus. Marcus has missed the last two weeks of rehearsal, and had not even seen the script yet. However, Marcus was thrilled by the story line of the play and even asked us if he could take on more smaller roles if possible. I thought that this was a very cool gesture by Marcus, given the trouble we have had with the other students thus far.

While a lot of things went well this week, one thing that was not good was the students attitudes towards one another. One of our students, Khalil, reads at a much lower level than the other students and sometimes struggles reading his lines. This week, some of the other students were making fun of Khalil which was completely inappropriate. As a result, Khalil became very offended and stormed out of the rehearsal. TJ was eventually able to calm him down and get him to return some time later. The students that were responsible for making fun of Khalil were disciplined by Dylan and myself. We let the students know that that sort of behavior would not be tolerated going forward. Even with this setback, however, I would still say that this was a productive week of rehearsal. I look forward to next week greatly when hopefully the students are ready to continue their development.