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!

We recorded the rest of the scenes today!!

There were definitely times where students struggled with words in the script (i.e., deserved, benched) but the teacher and sometimes other students would jump in to help pronounce it. I’m not sure how consistent they kept the character – figurine pairings, but finishing the recordings took priority over those other details. Today was the first day, in my opinion, they seemed as focused and determined to get through the script. I’m not sure if this was because of pressure from the teacher or they were finally excited to be putting all of our work into action.

Overall, I’m glad we were able to have the students play a more active role in the final product. As much fun as it would have been for me to do audio over their drawings, I think this is more engaging and memorable in the long run. Communication with the community partner and technology issues have been the main obstacles throughout the semester but the students seemed to have enjoy the experience. I’m looking forward to seeing the final Act 5 video come together.

Our last meeting for the year was another productive meeting. Admittedly we didn’t have very much to do as we had already recorded the script, but we were able to have the kids read a few of the intros and summaries of the scenes that we could record and include into our final project. Luckily for us, Henrico forwarded us the photos for our scenes early Thursday afternoon, so we were able to get it all put together pretty quickly and it came out really well. The kids did a fabulous job with drawing the scenes and it’s great that we were able to include them in the recording as well. Again, the teacher that we had for our last few meetings was a total game-changer, as she really excelled at organizing the kids and making sure they were speaking loudly enough and saying the right lines. Communication was so difficult virtually so having somebody in the room helping us was a major help. I can’t wait for everyone to see Act 2!

Our final meeting with the students was very enjoyable! We got to look over the script one more time with them and asked them what sections they would like to read. Two of the students were very excited and read almost all of the third party narration for the act. We had already recorded some of the narration but they were at the ends of each scene so it was easy to go in and replace them. We were also able to get all of the pictures sent over and create an introduction with the students where they introduced themselves. It was a little upsetting that it was our last meeting but it was a genuine connection that we had with the students, and one that helped us create a very fun project!

This was our last meeting with the kids! This experience absolutely flew by and I was a bit sad that it ended — meeting with these kids was always a highlight of my week, they always have such a positive attitude and are so engaged. This week we had a bit of a hiccup with the technicalities of the meeting (there was a new coordinator), but once we got it working we had some final discussions with the kids about the play. We decided not to re-record since the kids were happy with our previous recordings of the script and we wanted to leave as many of the decisions as possible up to them. They showed us some of the drawings they made and they were really good! At the end of the meeting, one of the kids said “have a nice rest of your life!” Which was pretty cute. This was such a cool experience for the class and I am so happy we got to do it despite covid restrictions. I am so excited to see the final product of the adaptation!

This week, the students and teacher did not come online again so we did not get a chance to meet… but that’s okay! We decided instead to record ourselves reading the script we put together (since we never had the time to do a recording of the students) and used some great pictures they sent in the background of the video. I am proud of our final product that now incorporates much of our hard work in the script creation process and the student’s creative artwork and authentic words. While I wish we could have included their voices in the final products, their art demonstrates both their understanding and excitement for the project.

This was a strange and hectic week for me personally. I was unfortunately too sick with covid to attend Monday’s meeting with our community partners. From what I gathered after meeting separately with my group members later in the week, the meeting had a rough start. Apparently the meeting began about 20 minutes late, and our group was not able to record the final run-through of our script with the students. Luckily, we have some of the students’ images, and a previous run-through of the script recorded. Given my inability to attend this last meeting with our community partners, I felt sad that I did not get to say goodbye to them or thank them for their help in conceptualizing and executing the project.

I really wish that I could have attended this meeting even though it was abbreviated, mostly because the project has been a great way to escape from the uncertainty of surviving through the global pandemic. I consider this aspect of the project to be another overarching goal: we’ve aimed to give our community partners and us UR students the power to create and tell a story in a time that may feel so overwhelming and out of our control–all while having fun in the process. I look forward to helping out my group in the completion of our final project. We still have a lot of work left, but we plan to create the remaining images and edit our act as “together” as we possibly can.

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.