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!

This week did not go as expected. There was a miscommunication so we only got about 20 minutes with the kids. We were intending on trying to record again to make everything a little cleaner but did not have time. Thankfully we did get a recording the meeting before. We got some of the photos and are just waiting to get the others. I love the drawings we have gotten so far — these kids are talented. Now it is just time to put everything together!

I thought this week went well. Some kids were missing last week and a little confused this week but we were able to bring them all up to speed. We continued to focus our efforts on the illustrations for the act. It was so funny to hear them make decisions on what the characters look like, especially hair color! Once we made sure all the illustrations had been assigned and accounted for, we ran through the script another time and got some final feedback from the kids. Next time we will be doing all of the recordings!

This week we focused our efforts on the visuals we need to create for Act 1 which included drawings of the characters and the scenery. The kids continued to seem really excited about the play and gave us lots of feedback. Although I was surprised that not as many kids wanted to do drawings, one kid ended up volunteering for a lot of them. I think the next step is to do the recordings of the audio for each scene, the script is finished. Microsoft teams continues to kind of confuse me and I am not sure exactly how we plan to get the recordings and whether we are able to do it directly through teams and do a recording or if we will need to use some other software.

This week we came to the group with a rough draft script we wrote from scratch. We focused on making it very modern and bringing out Beatrice’s attitude. We have many kids who want speaking roles so we rotated running through lines. In addition, we focused more specifically on what the kids wanted to see in each scene and how we intend to display the visuals. They are all on board with doing stop- motion with pictures. I am a little curious how all the visuals will be completed since each student is online from their home rather  than in a classroom all together. Another solid week with the kids and next week we hope to start producing the visuals and recording!

This week we began by discussing who wanted speaking roles versus working behind the scenes. We have A LOT of kids who want speaking roles. We confirmed that the group wants to use Stop Motion with pictures and Legos for the visuals of the play. We then returned to our discussion on the characters and personalities (something we worked on the week prior). The kids all have such great imagination but continue to give contradictory pieces of information but that is great for us to have many options and then we can just make the final decision. It was confirmed that they wanted Claudio to Claudia.

We have gotten to work on a script and will work to have a great potion done for our next meeting on Monday. The group of kids are great and so engaged. I think it helps that they are all at home and online rather than in a classroom together, less distractions!

We met a few new faces this week! We began this week by reviewing the project details and major plot points. We learned that they want to do this is stop motion using Legos. They seemed to know of a few different apps to use to do this stop motion. Last week we got a lot of feedback from the students in regards to our adaptations around the plot points. We took all the thoughts and made some compromises to make sure all voices were heard. The bulk of our conversation consisted around the characters, their names and who they were at high school. Once again we had a lot of feedback, many of which conflicted with one another so our group has some final decisions to make! Once again I was pleased with the engagement of the students and they are respectful of one another and we don’t have too many moments when they are talking over one another. I think we have a great start and have a lot of information going into next week when we will dive into filming and creating the images.

We finally got to meet the kids! We began this week with introductions so everyone went around and said their name and favorite ice cream flavor. Then we talked a little about Shakespeare and watched a short video breaking down Much Ado About Nothing. We then did a quick quiz to see how well the kids remembered the characters. From there we moved on to talking about various important plot lines and gave them a few options to get some feedback on. Our group was very engaged and vocal (but not talking over one another). They had strong opinions that unfortunately conflicted with one another. Seemed like half of them wanted the characters to be returning from quarantine and the other half wanted them to return from a normal summer, half wanted the relationships to take place over social media and half wanted the relationships to take place in person.

Looking forward to next week and we will make final decisions on the major plot points and then move into more specifics and get a feel from the kids for what they want to do, if they want to speak and draw things or not. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the group of kids and their manners and engagement. Off to a good start I think!