On Friday, we finally had our performance of Twelfth Night. It’s so hard to believe that after an entire semester with them, we won’t be seeing our students anymore. Even though the rehearsals could be stressful, it was so rewarding watching the students grow and become more comfortable with us, with Shakespeare, and with themselves. They all gained so much confidence throughout the project. It was really amazing to experience, especially considering what we had discussed at the beginning of the semester pertaining to Shakespeare Behind Bars and how theater can be an enlightening experience that gives people insight into their own lives. Whenever the students got frustrated, we were able to see them channel this frustration into their acting and turn it into something productive. I’ve loved getting to know each of them this year and I hope they remember this project as much as I will.

On Friday, Jacob, Maddie, and I met outside of the dining hall to drive to St. Joe’s. There, we met Dr. Bezio some of the other groups to begin setting up. We sorted props into the backstage rooms, prepared scripts, and discussed our plans of action for when the students arrived. My group had made some last minute edits to the script to make sure we’d be able to finish in around 15 minutes. We took these new scripts and highlighted them based on roles, so that way it would be easier for our actors to follow along.

Then, I went with Page and Sarah to the main building so we would know where the bathrooms were should any of the students need to use them. Outside of the main office, I ran into Christina, Talia, Rufus, and Dale. I said hi to them and wished them luck. Christina pulled me over and told me how nervous she was for the show. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t know a lot of her lines for Act III and was nervous she would get confused while playing different characters for the two acts. I reassured her that she would have her script with her the entire time, and that if she wanted, we could run through her lines and practice before the show. This seemed to calm her down a bit. I told the students that I had to get back to the church and that I’d see them later.

Once back at the chapel, we continued setting up for a while. Dr. Bezio gave us the materials to make a dungeon door and after a little manipulation, we seemed to make something resembling one. Soon after, Charles arrived. He seemed really excited to perform and told us all about how he had been on stage in front of tens of thousands of people before with “10 to 20 famous people” like Jason Mraz. We asked him if he wanted to run through some lines and he immediately said yes. We showed him the new highlighted scripts and he seemed to like how easily he could find his lines. He told us about his “Shakespeare voice” and wanted to practice his lines with this new addition. He busted out a pretty impressive Scottish accent which was adorable and hilarious. He then proceeded to sing Bad Blood in this same accent. This was truly hysterical and a performance I’ll never forget.

Once all the other students showed up, we tried to run through lines with everyone. However, since we shared actors with Act III who went first and then we had snack time, we didn’t have time to get through our Act. I wasn’t too worried about this since we had rehearsed a couple times on Monday and everything seemed to go smoothly. We asked the group if they had any questions or anything they were worried about. It seemed like most of them had mild stage fright and didn’t want to mess up their lines. I reminded them again how everyone in the audience was their family and friends who were there to support them and not make fun of them. I also reminded them that no one in the audience knew what the script said, so even if they messed up, as long as they spoke with confidence, no one would realize the mistake. Charles also joked that he was scared because the elementary students were terrifying. Talia initially expressed interest in a costume but after seeing that her options were a wig or tiara, decided against wearing one.

Once the actual play began, we quickly realized how hard it was to hear people on the stage. However the earlier acts quickly adapted to this by reminding their actors to speak loudly and by standing on the ground, closer to the audience, instead of on stage. I sat next to Christina in the audience, and she, too, realized the importance of being loud. I think observing what would happen if they didn’t speak up really helped them understand why they needed to project their voices.

Maddie and I joined Act III backstage to wait until our act, since we shared the same actors. Jacob had already been backstage because he was acting. Unfortunately, when it was time to transition from Act III to Act IV, we struggled to do this quickly. In Act III, Rufus had played Malvolio. However in our act, Rufus played Sebastian and Charles played Malvolio. This meant that Rufus had to quickly change out of his yellow socks and ribbons in order to get on stage to be in the first scene. However, when he put on the socks, the ribbons were tied to his shoelaces. This meant that we had to untie his shoes and try to get the ribbons off. This took way longer than anticipated, and Rufus, who had been a little frustrated upon arrival, seemed to get really anxious and upset by the whole situation. This made the process take even longer. We suggested he go on stage without his shoes (since we couldn’t get the ribbons off) or put his shoes on and hold up the attached ribbon, but he kept exclaiming that this wasn’t “right” so he couldn’t do it. However, we eventually got the ribbon off and sent him on stage.

Another issue we had with transitioning was that the props used by earlier acts ended up on different sides of the room than we needed them to be in. However, by sneaking backstage to the other side of the room, we quickly fixed this. During our act, Sarah noticed that Christina was having trouble keeping her pants up. Maddie and I were unaware that this was happening since we were backstage and couldn’t see her. This posed an issue because no one could tell her until the scene was over, and by this time it was almost too late. However, after the scene was over, Christina’s sibling came backstage and talked to her about it, which saved Maddie and I from having a potentially awkward conversation with her.

Later on, the tinker toy door was on the opposite side of the stage we needed it to be. I had to run backstage to grab it so Charles could pretend he was in jail. I don’t think he wanted to go on stage without it. However, it got a little messed up on the walk over, and wouldn’t stand up on it’s own. It almost fell over, but thankfully Dr. Bezio slid out on stage and held it up. The other side began to fall down, so I ran out and held that one up as well. During this scene, Charles nailed his Scottish accent. Earlier in the day he asked Christina if they could both sing Bad Blood, since he liked the song as well and wanted to show off how he could sing it in his “Shakespeare voice.” However, she didn’t want to share the song. So, during this scene, Charles did some really hilarious improv. While Christina sang, he decided to shout out things like, “Ah make it stop!” or “Oh God, no !” This was hysterical because we had no idea he was going to do it. In the script, his character was supposed to be silent. However, I think his improv went over really well and allowed both him and Christina to share the spotlight. After we went offstage, he apologized to her and made sure he knew he actually thought she was a good singer and it was “all for the play,” since this was technically a torture scene. This was a cool moment to witness, because it really demonstrated his understanding of the play. It really reaffirmed the work we had been doing with them.

Another challenge we had was getting Dale to stay focused. During Act III he missed his part because he was in the bathroom. We were worried this would throw him off and confuse him when it came time to do Act IV. However, Dale came on stage and read his lines really well. He did get distracted, but since I played Fabian, I was able to stand next to him on stage and help him follow along. Because I had my script, I could show him what to read if he forgot to turn the page or got lost.

After we finished our act, it was hard to contain our excitement. I was so proud of how much our students had matured and learned throughout the semester. They seemed to realize this as well, and all shared in our excitement. They were giving us all high fives and Talia even gave me a hug. I told them all how proud I was of them and how amazing they were on stage. Rufus had a huge smile on his face, which was wonderful to see especially after how frustrated he was earlier in the day. I’m so glad the performance was able to turn his day around. When I congratulated Charles, he asked me, “Really? You guys really think we were great?” He was so ecstatic and proud of himself, which was really infectious.

Overall, the performance went really well, despite the challenges we faced. It was so much easier to manage these difficulties with a team than it would’ve been to deal with them alone. Jacob, Maddie, and I all seemed to excel in different areas of leadership. I think this helped us because we all naturally fell into different roles. We were each able to help out in our own ways. For example, Jacob, who had a passion for the play, was able to explain the plot, the project, and the acting skills really thoroughly to the group. Maddie did an amazing job of translating things to the students in a way that made sense to them. She was really good about checking in with the group to make sure everyone was on the same page. Maddie was also very practical and organized, which helped a lot with our easily distractible group of students. I think I did a good job of relating to the students and being there if they had any concerns or frustrations with the project.

This was our last rehearsal. It’s been so cool to see how the students have grown, not only as actors, but into themselves. A lot of them, like Rufus or Talia, seemed very reserved during the first couple rehearsals. Now, however, they’re emoting, enunciating, and projecting while reading their lines.

This week, we had Christina (clown), Dale (Sir Andrew), Rufus (Sebastian), Charles (Malvolio), and Talia (Olivia). It was confirmed today that Jacob would not be attending the show on Friday. This means we need someone to play Sir Toby. During the rehearsal, we had Jacob (from UR) play that role. Maddie and I stepped in as the smaller roles like Fabian and Maria/Mario. We decided to run through the act twice today. By letting them know this in advance, we avoided a lot of the confusion or complaints we usually got during the second read through. We stressed to the students to take this rehearsal seriously, since it would be our last before the show. We reminded them to always face the audience, read along even when not speaking, always stay in character, and remain quiet while offstage.

When we cast the show, everyone seemed okay with their roles. Talia was really enthusiastic about being Olivia, and even shouted, “Yes!” Christina still seemed interested in Olivia, but Maddie stressed to her that Feste was more of a pivotal character. I think this, and Feste’s hat, made the role more appealing.

These run throughs went really well. We managed to get through it the first time in 19 minutes and the second time in 15 minutes. During the actual play, I think we might stay on or near stage to help things progress quickly if someone forgets their lines.

We ended the rehearsal by asking them if they had any questions, telling them what time to get there, and reminding them to wear dark or black colors. Charles wanted to know if he had to wear a “bow tie,” or suit, which was really funny.

Overall, this rehearsal went really well. I’m so impressed with how well the students read their lines and stayed on track the whole rehearsal. Talia, who previously said she had a lot of stage fright, even said it wasn’t that bad today and that she had fun. Dale said he might sing his lines on Friday to make things more fun or interesting. Before we left, Charles told us that Jacob, Maddie, and I did a “great job,” which was really nice to hear. I hope things go just as smoothly on Friday!

This week we wanted to focus on running through our act as realistically as possible. In the past couple rehearsals, we’d introduced blocking and stage fighting, but these transitions often took up more time than we’d have liked them to. Today, we really stressed that all the students should be reading along to the script even if they weren’t acting at that moment so that they knew when to come on or off stage. This really helped us cut down on time, and we were able to get through our whole act in only 15 minutes. However, this might be because Christina, one of our slower readers, wasn’t there today.

This week, we had Dale (Sir Andrew), Rufus (Sebastian), Charles (Malvolio), Talia (Olivia), and Jacob (Sir Toby). We had them play the same parts they usually did. Jacob, Maddie, and I stepped in for the other roles like Maria/Mario and the clown. Charles seemed a little confused by the roles and wanted to know when they would be finalized. We explained to everyone that the show is a week from Friday, and that while we hoped the roles would be pretty much stable until then, they might change depending on who showed up. We took this moment to explain to them that we only had one more rehearsal after today, so they should act as if it was the real show.

This week went really well. Everyone seemed really comfortable on stage and was paying attention so they knew when to come on or off stage. We also brought a couple props and costumes, and I think having a tangible reminder of the show really helped to motivate them. Our biggest struggle was keeping Dale motivated. During the first run through, he was pretty enthusiastic. However, during our second un through he began to get restless and wanted to know how much more he had to read. This is pretty consistent with the other rehearsals. Once he realizes we’re reading the same lines again, he seems to lose interest. He also was very thrown off by Christina’s absence. Jacob originally stepped into the clown’s role, but Dale was confused because the clown was usually played by a female. In order to get him to keep reading his lines, I had to take Jacob’s place as the clown.

Maddie ended up playing the clown in one of the later scenes, and when she didn’t know the tune to one of the Taylor Swift songs, Charles surprised us all with his performance of Bad Blood. It was one of my favorite moments from the rehearsal. Another funny thing that happened was the way in which Rufus kept track of his lines. While other students were reading their lines, he would follow along by using the tip of his sword to underline the words. I didn’t realize this until later on in the rehearsal, but once I did it was hard to stop smiling. Overall, this was a really good rehearsal. I’m curious to see if we’ll be able to pace ourselves just as quickly once Christina returns. For our next (and last) rehearsal, we might want to cut down on a couple more lines to save on time. We did this during the last work day as well.

Today we had eight people show up. Dale played Sir Andrew, Christina played the clown, Charles played Mario (since he wanted to play a boy but we needed to fill the role of Maria), Javon played Fabian, James played Malvolio, Talia played Olivia, Rufus played Sebastian, and Jacob played Sir Toby.

We began the rehearsal by introducing ourselves, since we had a larger group than normal and some students who we hadn’t had in a couple weeks. Then we transitioned into the act by playing Zip, Zap, Zop. Once we got through a couple rounds of this, we decided to run through the whole play. We attempted to incorporate enunciating and projecting, emoting, and stage directions. We started by assigning roles and then having each student go to a “back stage” room and wait until they had speaking lines. We didn’t manage to get through the whole play, so during our work day we decided to cut down on the script more. Since the clown had the most lines and Christina struggled to read quickly the most, we cut down on some of the repetitive lines she had. We also tried to space out the script more to make it more readable.

For the upcoming rehearsals, I think we should focus on increasing the speed and fluency at which the students act. The more familiar they are with the stage directions, the quicker we can move through the script. I think another struggle we faced today was people getting frustrated or bored. Since not everyone was acting at the same time, people seemed to lose interest. Again, I think that the quicker we can move through the script, the less of a problem this will be. Christina still seemed to be disappointed that she was playing Feste and not Olivia which confused us at first because we tailored the role to her. However, Maddie said that this was because Christina thought Olivia was the main character. In order to keep her motivated and excited, I think we should keep explaining to her how pivotal of a role Feste is.

We ended rehearsal by telling the students three important things to keep in mind while acting: project your voice, never turn your back on the audience, and when it’s not your line stay in character.

Last week, we had five students return – Dale, Javon, Christina, Rufus, and Jacob. We decided to break into groups so we could work more closely with the students who struggled in similar areas. For example, Jacob and I worked with Dale, Rufus, and Jacob on emoting and projecting while Maddie worked with Javon and Christina on reading and interpreting the lines. Since I personally didn’t work with Maddie, I don’t know firsthand how this worked, but it seemed to be really effective. Christina had previously struggled to read the script, but Maddie said that she really excelled once someone fed her the lines and she had to repeat them back. I think this is really useful to know, because now we can give her more auditory cues instead of just the visual ones from the script.

We cast Dale as Sir Andrew, Javon as Malvolio, Christina as the clown, Rufus as Sebastian, and Jacob as Sir Toby. I think these roles really suited everybody, so unless our group of actors changes drastically I think we should try to stick with them. Christina still seemed a little upset that she wasn’t cast as Olivia, but hopefully will warm up to the role of Feste.

Before we broke up into groups, we began the rehearsal by working on emoting. We had the students walk across the stage while portraying a certain emotion. For example, if they got “mad,” they would have to stomp across the stage. This worked well because they had to use their entire bodies, instead of just facial expressions or voices. Our group as a whole is pretty reserved and quiet, so this helped them seem more comfortable and commanding on stage.

Jacob and I worked with our group to stage the fighting scene. We had Rufus, Dale, and Jacob run through that scene a couple times so they could work on stage fighting, blocking, and emoting. We had them practicing “slapping” and “sword fighting” each other. They seemed a little hesitant to get close enough to each other to make it look realistic, so this week we’ll focus on getting them more comfortable interacting with each other on stage, instead of just focusing on getting them comfortable being on stage.

I noticed that the students were still reading their lines pretty quietly, so then we tried a game in which we had them attempt to shout each line louder than they did the last one. This worked a little at first, but by the end they were still reading the lines somewhat quietly. I think this week our group might bring candy as a motivator for reading the lines loudly or staging the fight scene really well.

This week we arrived to rehearsal early. We started by working on emoting. We handed out emotions (like happy, sad, surprised, confused, in love, or angry) and had people say different sentences in these emotions. We played two rounds of this. The first round, we used the line, “I went to the zoo today.” The second round, we used the line, “An apple fell from the tree today.”

Next, we decided to have them read through the script. Last week, this took the entire rehearsal so we had made edits to make the script more readable. This time, it only took around 25 minutes. We had Rufus play Sebastian after Dale (who we had originally planned on being Sebastian) had to leave because he wasn’t feeling well since he was still in recovery after his surgery. Charles played Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, and Maria. He told us he didn’t want to play a girl during the actual play, though. Kendra initially played Olivia but somehow disappeared during the rehearsal so I stepped in for that role. Morgan played Malvollio and Christina played Feste. Christina told us however that she really wanted to try out Olivia’s part, even after we adapted Feste’s songs to be Taylor Swift ones, which are her favorite.

Later, we tried emoting different lines from the play. Rufus played Toby, Dale played Sebastian, Morgan played Malvollio, Charles played Malvollio, and Christina played Olivia. We had them each read one line from that character in a scared voice and in a sarcastic voice.

This rehearsal went well. I think next week we should focus on getting Christina more invested in playing the clown, since we adapted this part for her and she initially loved it. Also, she wants a lot of screen time which Feste has, but Olivia does not. We also plan on reading through the script more and casting more permanently.

Rehearsal this week went really well! I think we progressed really far into the script, which we hadn’t gotten a chance to in the past week. Also, a lot of the high school students really came out of their shells and seemed to embrace acting more. I thought it was interesting that a lot of the students who usually don’t talk, like Rufus, really excelled with reading the script, while the more talkative students, like Christina, struggled more to read. This week, we had Rufus (who played Sebastian), Christina (who played Feste), Crystal (who played Olivia), Charles (who played Malvollio), and Jacob (who played Sir Toby).


We started by introducing ourselves to Crystal and Charles and asking if anyone had a chance to look over the scripts from last week. Christina said that she looked over the script, did some research, and was really interested in the play. She knew it so well that she could interject during our translations of the act and offer her own explanations to the other students.


We assigned roles and then read through the whole act. Me, Maddie, and Jacob would step in as the smaller roles, like Maria, since there weren’t enough students. We would stop after each scene to explain what was happening with the script and ask if anyone had any questions.


There was a hysterical moment in which Christina, in order to distinguish the moments she was playing Feste from the moments in which she was playing Feste mimicking the priest, used a demonic voice. She also did a great job singing, but because it was a little time consuming (since there was no set beat or tone for her to follow), we decided to cut these songs in favor of replacing them with Taylor Swift ones.


Because it took us the entire rehearsal to get through the script, we decided to change some of the language, punctuation, and layout of the script to make it easier to read. We also replaced the songs with more modern Taylor Swift versions. Lastly, we coded Feste’s lines by underlining them or italicizing them so whoever was playing him would know if it was Feste being himself or Feste being the priest.


Also, in order to plan for next week, we strategized about how to help Christina improve reading her lines. We thought we could split into smaller groups and have some people focus on emoting while others focused on reading so she didn’t feel left out or like she was being targeted. She seems to get frustrated with herself when she feels like others think she’s not doing well.

This was my group’s first rehearsal in two weeks, so we were curious to see which of our cast members would return and what their level of interest would be. Since it had been so long since we’d last been to St. Joe’s, we decided to start with introductions, a short description of the project and the play, and some theater games. Upon arrival, we saw that only one student had been there for all three rehearsals: Aisha. Timone told us that some of the other students, like Catarra, were excited to participate in the future but had a conflict this week. We did have a lot of new students this week, which might pose an issue in the future depending on how many decide to come back or attend the actual performance. As of now, we have around two full casts for our act.


We began the rehearsal by re-introducing ourselves and the project. Maddie and Jacob did a really good job at describing this in enough detail that they understood why we were there but at a quick enough pace that they didn’t lose interest. We then moved into some theater games, like One Word Story and Zip, Zap, Zop because we’d had success with those in the past. However, they were slightly more difficult this time around because more of the students struggled with enunciation. I think a lot of them didn’t want to put themselves out there at first and were worried about participating. However, as the games went on, they really came out of their shells more. One student, Christina told me how much she loved acting but that she was curious to see how she’d do with a Shakespeare play because she didn’t feel familiar with them. However, when I asked her if she’d ever done Shakespeare before, she listed off around three plays that she’d either read or performed in. I think Christina’s positive attitude will help inspire the other kids and her familiarity with the script will really be an asset.


During this rehearsal, we wanted to focus on reading the scripts, getting familiar with the language, and understanding how to play a character. We broke up into two groups, and took turns reading a portion of the second scene of our act. I was really impressed with the students during this activity, because, even though they struggled with the language, they focused really well on enunciating and making sure not to miss any of their lines. Christina, who was the most excited about acting, wanted the largest speaking part during this activity. Once we gave her this part, we realized that she was having trouble interpreting some of the old English, but with some help ended up doing really well with it. Another student, Rufus, who barely talked during the other activities, really transformed while reading the script and spoke louder, more clearly, and with more confidence. Talia, who struggled with the pronunciation of a lot of the words, volunteered to read the part of the clown and persevered throughout the long lines of dialogue.


We decided to end with the Bus Stop game as a way of ending the rehearsal with excitement. Two students, Christina and Jacob (not the one from University of Richmond) acted out a hilarious skit involving Donald Trump and Taylor Swift. I think that this activity really helped them get into the mindset of an actor.


We left the students with a copy of the script and asked them to read it over and if they felt really drawn to a certain character, to let us know next time. For our next rehearsal, I think we should focus on casting (very tentatively based on who comes back), solidifying prop lists, and working more with the scripts. Our biggest challenge this week was how long it took to read over the script, so hopefully with time this process will run more smoothly. This group seemed to struggle more with the language but less with focusing, which is the opposite of the last group we worked with. I’m interested to see how this will change if the two groups end up performing together (assuming all the students come back).

I decided to follow Jacob’s lead and combine last week’s (10/3) and this week’s (10/10) blog post into one. We were unable to meet for our third rehearsal, since Maddie is our designated driver and she had a scheduling conflict. Since the shuttle times didn’t match up with our rehearsal times and neither me nor Jacob can drive, we decided to postpone rehearsal until the next time we would meet. Unfortunately, with our fourth rehearsal falling during fall break, this meant our next meeting would be on October 17th. I’m a little concerned that since last rehearsal wasn’t as exciting for the kids (since we focused less on games and more on the script) and since it will have been so long since we held a rehearsal, that a lot of our cast members won’t come back. Timone seemed to really like the program, however, so hopefully he’ll encourage them to show up on Monday. As for planning our next rehearsal, we decided to go over the script more in depth and practice reading Shakespeare more. We went through the whole script and “translated” it into modern English so we would have descriptions ready if the high schoolers were confused on what was happening during a certain scene. We also left the group with a “homework” assignment for the next rehearsal. We wanted them to watch She’s the Man, which they all seemed fairly excited about, and read over the script. My group and I worked more on a props and costumes list, which we will hopefully solidify more next week. As for Monday, I think our goals would be to cast the play, determine if the group wanted to use a creative twist (by making in modern, set in another era, etc.), and figure out what we’re doing about Feste’s songs. I also think we should try to incorporate more games into the rehearsal if we have time, because it seemed to let them burn their excess energy and focus better later on.

Today, 9/26/16, my group, Act IV, had our second rehearsal. Me and Maddie went to get the Zip Car at 12:30, but we realized that the person who had it before us didn’t return it. We were worried at first that this would pose an issue with getting to St. Joseph’s Villa on time. We called customer service, however, and they let us switch our car reservation so we could use a different car. We picked up Jacob from his rehearsal and were on our way! I didn’t even spill my lunch on the ground this time. Once we got there, we headed to the Chapel, which is where we had previously decided our rehearsals would be held. We realized that there was an issue when we arrived at the Chapel and the lights were out and Timone and the rest of the students weren’t there yet. We walked over to Cottage 2 and found Timone. He told us that we would be using a conference room for today since they had an issue turning on the lights in the Chapel. This room worked really well for this rehearsal because we were planning on working on emoting and reading Shakespeare, so the set up (chairs around a table) helped a lot with that.

For this rehearsal, we planned on seeing which of our original five cast members returned, learning the plot of Twelfth Night, familiarizing ourselves with Shakespearean language, and practicing reading and emoting lines. We planned an activity where we had notecards with emotions written on them (like joy, sadness, love, shock, disgust) and had the students go around in a circle saying a sentence (like “I went to the zoo today”) in that emotion. Once we were done with that, we wanted to move on to them reading various lines from the play in those emotions as well. This activity initially went well, but we found that some of them didn’t know how to get some of the more nuanced emotions (like love) across. Also they seemed to be more worried about embarrassing themselves.

We also showed them the trailer for She’s the Man. I think this helped them understand the basic plot and who the characters were. It also gave them a reference point for when we referred to situations or characters. For example, when we talked about Duke, it was easier for them to picture Channing Tatum and know who we were referring to. When we sat down, I tried to jump into the trailer and explaining the plot, but Jacob reminded me that we had two new students with us today, and that they might not even know what the Jepson Shakespeare Project was, what they were doing there, or that they were even participating in a play. We decided to slow it down a bit, and re-introduce ourselves to the 3 out of 5 original students that came back (1 was sick and the other was absent from school that day, so both of the 2 that weren’t there today might come back for the next rehearsal) and the 2 new ones. We then described the project and the play.

It was harder to get the students to focus today. I think a big part of that was that Timone wasn’t in the room with us for the beginning part of the rehearsal, so the person that usually acted as an authority figure wasn’t there. Since they’re so close in age to us, it was hard to act as a leader in that situation. It was also difficult because we had moved from games and introductions to the actual play, and this seemed to lower their motivation to participate or pay attention. I think incorporating an improv game at the end of each rehearsal as a means of rewarding them for focusing would help this issue.

Because we won’t be having rehearsal for the next two weeks, due to a group conflict and fall break, we left a couple copies of the script with Timone and told the students that a good way to prepare for the next rehearsal on October 17th would be to look them over and watch She’s the Man. Our group decided that during the next rehearsal we would try to assign parts. To prepare, we asked the students who wanted more or less speaking parts. We also decided to break the script and the actual lines down into english that they would understand. When we practiced emoting, it seemed to be easier to do once we “translated” the Shakespeare to modern english. We decided to write little summaries like this next to every chunk of lines to have at our disposal for the next couple rehearsals.