It was really interesting to note that the level of community engagement was associated with the amount of creativity put into the scene. I loved the kid’s voices and felt that it made the scene much more receptive and fulfilling. It really has me thinking about the bigger meaning of this class and how the things we choose to watch, listen, and pay attention to end up being the ideas we manifest.

I loved everyone’s scenes put together to analyze as an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. It gave me a lot of perspective into stage and screen, and life itself. The kids were all able to play a part in some way (of course, not really my group and I’m sad about it, but everyone was awesome). I hope that the kids remember ideas that we have creatively shared and taught them. I feel that the new scripts were a very enriching way of learning about the social issues we now must face in society. Whatever issues you face, just know that everyone else faces them as well. The connection comes from being impacted.

I feel as though I have never felt more civically engaged, between this class and the other Jepson classes I am apart of this semester. Having acknowledged that Jepson doesn’t necessarily teach us what to think, but rather how to think. Engaging with the City of Richmond, the once Capital of the Confederacy, during the Black Lives Matter movement, is incredibly fulfilling. I registered to vote in Richmond, and got to feel — in person (with a mask) — what it was like to be a civically engaged human being in these soon-to-be historical times.

Watching all the videos together was really cool! There definitely were some holes in the plot across all the acts, but I think this made the project especially interesting because each group of kids was given full creative freedom to do what they want with each act. I thought it was really cool to see each different groups approach to the storyline and what they changed to make the adaptation. I also really appreciated our group’s decision to turn Claudio into Claudia, yet still respect the original romantic storyline. There was another act that also decided to use Claudia, which was awesome! It is really amazing to see these kids be open to changes in the plot and include representation of the LGBTQ community while challenging stereotypical gender constructs. Overall, while the final product had a few plot line confusions, I think the heart of the project truly showed through and I am really grateful to have had this experience to work on this, especially  through covid. It’s awesome we were able to figure out a way to make it work even though we could not be in person with the kids. I hope the kids had as much fun as I did!

It was so great watching our adaptation of Much Ado! I think regarding all the challenges we faced, we really did a great job of rewritten the play for the students to understand and learn the play! It honestly even helped me further understand the characters and themes of the play. With COVID and having to do this project virtually we were guaranteed to have challenges. My group especially had issues communicating with our community partners, but in the end I still really enjoyed the experience. Even though our meetings were not that productive most of the time, it was so fun meeting with some of the same kids each week and talking to the ones who were so interested.

It was a lot of fun to watch everyone’s final product because we each came at this adaptation in a slightly different way. As I watched the play I was struck by the fact that this production really embodies the idea of reclaiming Shakespeare and making it yours in a little way. When Shakespeare was writing his plays he was not imagining that it would be rewritten by some kids and college students over Zoom. There was no way we were meant to be able to relate to the characters so much, but we took the plot and his cast of characters and made it our own thing. It was so powerful to see all the work they had put in, and see how everyone had added their own humor and spice into the script. As a modern reader of Shakespeare a lot of the humor is lost because we use language so differently, but in our adaptation each of the jokes were relatable, and the puns made me laugh in a way that the original play didn’t. Even though this production is very different from the play, I love that everyone managed to bring the essence of the characters to their section. Overall, I loved seeing what everyone came up with, because each act was a fun representation of the groups.

While our completed adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing may have suffered a bit from lack of communication between our separate groups, this ultimately made the project an engaging and unique viewing experience! I’ve truly never seen anything like it. While watching, I made note of the biggest continuity issues (though “issues” might be too harsh a word here, since I enjoyed finding the changes between the acts). For instance, Bea begins as the narrator in Act 1; then it switches to the community partners narration in Act 2, then to no narration in Act 3, then to an objective narrator figure in acts 4 and 5. While at first this was disorienting, I found it interesting to see how each group chose to relay the events of their respective acts. We also go from Claudia, to Claudio, to Claudia, back to Claudio. I found the oscillation between that character’s gender especially noteworthy since it ended up not being an issue at all in understanding the play’s plot, which I see as a potential statement on accepting and normalizing queer expressions of gender. Also, Don John seemed to switch from a student on the rival football team in Act 1 to the rival coach in Act 3, which was somewhat confusing. However, I had a blast watching the final product, and I hope our community partners are also proud of the work we were able to accomplish together!

After watching the final product, I couldn’t help but smile! Although this semester was different and this project was sometimes difficult, I am really proud of what we accomplished. I loved seeing all of the fun modern language in each Act’s script. I found myself laughing a lot and I am sure the students will do the same. I really liked seeing the students artwork and creativity with bringing our play to life. Each Act was different in how they approached the adaptation and I loved to see the interesting ideas we all came up with.

I really enjoyed working with the students this semester. I was happy we could share this experience with them, even if it was virtually. I think our adaptation was very relevant for the students and taught them that Shakespeare can be enjoyed by all!

I really enjoyed seeing all of the different final products come together! It ended up being more interesting and felt less monotonous having each act decide on their own how they wanted to showcase the students’ artwork, action figures, audios, scripts, and videos. I especially enjoyed seeing how some acts used more animated visuals versus hand drawn visuals. Hearing the enthusiasm some of the students really put into voicing their characters was also fun to watch and made me happy that they were able to get a good experience out of it as well. I also thought it was cool how each act followed the same general plot, but interpreted each character differently. For example, Act I’s decision to make Claudio a girl named Claudia instead. This project definitely required a lot of patience when it came to technology, but I think it serves as a good example of how we have learned to adapt to life during this pandemic and were able execute this play virtually. I really commend the teachers and students also for putting in the time to learn about the play and spend time with us virtually adapting it.

Watching the final project today was very exciting! I enjoyed seeing how each act worked with their students to produce their own versions. Each act was different yet shared similar attributes. Most acts used action figures or drawings to represent the characters. Some acts were able to use more audio from the students than others. Watching them all together was exciting because we have been working separately this entire semester. While we consulted with other groups for details, we did not share how we were executing the production. Something exciting about this project is that we are able to share it with future JSP students. Even if they do not have to complete their project remotely, it might help them to see how we produced our version!

This project was a great learning experience for the students as well as myself. I had to be patient with the students and learn to go with the flow of technological errors. I am hoping to show the final version to my family once my exams are over, we will have a movie night!