We did it! We got all of our scenes recorded, and now we just have to edit them together to (hopefully) form a coherent story that resembles Much Ado About Nothing. I was unsure that we would be able to finish all of the scenes, but the teacher assisting the students did a really good job keeping them focused as they read the scripts. I could also tell that they were very engaged with the story as they were reading the script and understanding what was happening. By the last take, it almost seemed like they made changes in inflection and intonation as they voiced the characters in order to reflect the content of the scene.
It was very satisfying to finish all of the scenes. Developing both the story and the students’ comprehension of the story was a process throughout the semester, with more difficulty in the latter. Simplifying parts of the plot and changing the characters and setting helped, but giving the students more control about some details allowed them to translate the ideas of the play into terms that made sense to them. Once that happened, I could tell there was a difference in their approach. They were more excited to be working on the project because they felt connected to it. That was the most rewarding part of the project, far better than our work on the script and planning.