My group’s fourth meeting with our community partners marked a shift in how we typically structure our meeting time. Instead of starting with a review of which kids previously expressed interest in speaking or “tech” roles, we started by thinking conceptually about how we actually intend to present our adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing in its final form. This involved the unveiling the draft of our act 1 script to the students. We assigned speaking parts based on who had expressed interest in voice acting in the past and then spent the rest of the meeting reading through the script (which the kids, fortunately, seemed to love). We made the difficult decision of splitting Bea’s lines into 3 different speaking parts, primarily because Bea has the most lines and because we wanted to give as many students as possible the chance to participate.
After reading through our adapted act 1 scene 1, I was happily shocked by how clearly and deliberately the kids delivered their lines. They seemed to make the characters their own just by how they chose to speak. In this moment, I felt the project finally coming into fruition. At the end of each scene, we paused to discuss how we wanted to portray it from a technical standpoint. We did this in order to include the kids who did not necessarily want a speaking role but who instead preferred the technical aspects of theatre. For our intro scene, we decided to include quick “freeze frames” after Bea introduces each main character. We also decided on the location of our third scene when Claudia professes her love for Hero to her football friends (we decided the stadium bleachers would be the most fun to draw). Having the script in front of me definitely helped me to better understand the work that still needs to be finished, and I look forward to our next meeting. Hopefully we will begin to record some of the audio for the speaking roles and begin to draw some of the characters, though I’m a bit worried about how that will go from a logistical perspective.