Last week, I joined TAP Teaching Artist, Frank Nappi’s 3rd through 5th grade after school class at Norman Elementary. They were rehearsing their modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet for the school Talent Show.
This event is free and open to the public and takes place at Norman Elementary this Friday, May 21, 2010 at 6p.m.
It was inspiring to see youth reciting Shakespeare by heart and having fun at the same time! When talking with the students, they said, one of the hardiest parts of making the play was memorizing the lines. “I study them at home and over the weekend with my grandma” said DaMarco.
To help with this process, Frank worked with the students through listening and copying techniques and not letting them read from a page. Another hard part of working on the play, “is trying not to laugh, people are silly” said Linda.
“We practice with games to hold our emotions in when things are really funny so that we won’t laugh when we’re saying our lines in a play.” said Dot.
A popular favorite part of the play was the dancing, this modern take on Romeo & Juliet included dances to “So What” by Pink and “I Gotta a Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas. Frank also worked on quick movement techniques with the students through playing “Night at the museum”, where they pretend to be statues and can only move when the guard is not looking.
When asked about what they thought of Shakespeare the students said:
“I think Shakespeare is inspiring” said Aria.
“I love the way he expresses himself and I love his plays”, said Dot.
Not only did the students learn about Shakespeare and how to make a play, they also took note of the moral behind the story. “You get nothing out of fighting” said, Linda. “Violence, drugs, or suicide is never the answer.”
Dejanae: Intro Juliet
Dot: The Prince
Jalan: Lord Capulet
Jayden: Lord Capulet
Maira: Friar Lawrence
Whitney: Lady Capulet, Chorus