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.
Author: Gabriella Porfilio
This week’s meeting was pretty short because we had a myriad of technology issues. This meant we were not able to get our final recording, and will just have to use the practice recordings from last week. We will probably have to do a fair bit of editing to it, but at least we have something. We are coming up short on our images, so we will have to fill in those gaps quite a bit, but I am glad that we have a solid base, and we can use the images that we do have. I am really pleased with the images Sasha drew because they are better images than I ever could come up with, and I am so impressed with her artistic ability. I hope that we can use Maxwell’s images, but if we can’t that is not the end of the world.
This week we worked on recording the play. We did not get a final recording, but the kids were able to get into character, and add their own flair to the script. As we read through the script I began to notice where the dialogue was more natural, and when it was more stilted, which was good to know. Hearing the dialogue out loud has made me really appreciate the “Drunk History” style of narration. It makes it more intuitive to include important plot points, rather than including it in the lines of individual characters. We made the discovery that we had not included any lines for Hero, which was wholly unintentional. But it was so ironic that we did not make lines for the character that is the least developed in the play. That gave us the chance to add lines back in, and the kids had a lot of input about the lines. It was really cool to include them in the process, and see what they wanted Hero to be like.
This week we started working on the visuals for the play, which was harder to create interest for. A few of the students were very excited about ideas for how to depict things, but a majority of the students did not participate. I will admit that at this point I am a little stressed about how to get everything done by the end of the semester. Next week I am hoping that we can record at least some parts of Act 1, and get the images from them. My fear at this point is that the students who volunteered to draw images took on too much responsibility, and will be working too much during the week outside of our meetings.
Our meeting this week was centered around planning out the specific visuals we wanted to use for the production. Since we had a script mostly worked out for today, we had the students read through the lines, and specifically ask them what they wanted to see. Going forward I think it will be important to work on making the visuals for the play, and recording the voices of the students. Since we only have a few weeks of meeting left, I am hoping that our future meetings are very productive and focused going forward.
We went into this week’s meeting wanting to talk about characterisation, and pinning down some final plot points. The meeting was much more lively than our past ones because the students got really involved in the process of developing the plot. They knew the storyline well enough that they could develop the personalities of our characters a lot more, and they were really focused on how everybody would interact. When we asked them how they wanted Benedick and Beatrice to interact, they had an elaborate scene planned out. It honestly could’ve been a movie plot unto itself. I’ve loved seeing them get more comfortable with us, and claim the project on their own.
We also asked them who all was interested in a speaking role, or a behind the scenes role. I was really excited because everyone who was in the meeting wanted to have a role of some sort. It was encouraging to see their interest, and learn how they wanted to participate in the project. I felt like through this process we learned more about their personalities, and what they are interested in. I am still blown away by how much knowledge they have about stop-motion, and other filming techniques.
This weekend I am hoping that we are able to figure out a script, and assign roles to the students. This way we can start to rehearse a bit, and talk about how we want to make this work logistically. I am, however, anxious about how to include the behind the scenes students as we rehearse things.
This week was more productive than last week, because the kids had a bit of foundation in the play, and they had all week to figure out what they wanted to do. I really loved seeing their creativity, because they all are really interested in how we can film the play, and edit things together. Personally, I am not talented in editing or anything like that, but the kids were so excited about the idea of filming legos in stop motion for our video. Even outside of that though, they were very focused on not just playing into common tropes as we developed the characters. At one point someone divided that maybe Hero should be a cheerleader, because she didn’t have a lot of personality. But then another kids spoke up and insisted that cheerleaders can still have a personality. It was so sweet to see them wanting to create interesting and multivalent characters.
This week was really good, and it got me more excited about the project. Going into our first meeting I was anxious about if our kids were going to be engaged, or if they were going to want to participate. But, they are so excited about the project, and they have so many amazing ideas. The challenge will definitely be figuring out how to bring their ideas into our adaptation and how to make things make sense with the rest of the play. I am a little concerned about equity within the class, I want to make sure that the girls are being heard as much as the boys. There was one boy who had really good ideas, but he didn’t use the raise hand feature like the other students were. I want to make sure that he isn’t talking over other people in the future. Going forward I want to create a few more boundaries so that we are using our time really efficiently. I initially thought an hour sounded like a lot, but now it feels like we honestly could have gone for another hour.