Monday, April 27, 2009

Shakespeare--Final projects

Select a scene from one of the following plays:

Twelfth Night
A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream
Romeo and Juliet
Julius Ceasar
Much Ado About Nothing
Merchant of Venice

Present the scene either as a live, memorized performance or by some other creative medium that suits your particular talents. Examples: Set the scene to music, create a filmed version of the scene, animate (or stop-motion animation) and provide voice-over for dialogue.

Note: Memorization is required for all options (see “off book” due date).

As this is the final project of the year, expectations are higher than previous presentation assignments. Work toward a complete final product, fully costumed, carefully staged and rehearsed, as though it were being presented to a paying public audience.

Length of scenes will be longer than earlier assignments. If desired scenes are too short, you may prepare multiple scenes from the same play.

Each group must submit a written "script" for its scene, containing all the Shakespearean dialogue plus stage directions, written blocking, full subtext for each character, notes for tone of voice, characters' emotions and actions, goals and motives, etc.

4/22- Project Assigned, begin forming teams and identifying possible scenes
4/23 - Shakespeare's birthday (and Sarah's); announce teams
4/27 - Teams present ideas for possible scenes, create a “short list”
4/28 - Scenes approved, begin work
5/6 - "Script" drafts due and “off book”
5/7-12 - Continue rehearsals; Present scenes for notes and direction
5/11 - "Script" final draft
5/11-12 Dress rehearsals (costumes/props required)
5/13 - THURS - Final presentations: Students and faculty will be invited
(Class rescheduled to block 5, lunch period, 11:30 AM)
5/14 Final class: course evaluation; Mr. Coon’s “Senior Speech" & farewell

Monday, April 13, 2009

SHK--essay assignment--movie review

For this assignment, write a paper of approximately 800-1000 words in length (approximately 3 pages) based on the following prompt. Papers are due Tuesday April 21, both hard copy and to

Watch a movie interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s plays and write a review. Identify and evaluate the choices the director and actors made in order to bring the text to life. Was the setting changed from the renaissance to another historical period? Did the change add to the effectiveness of the presentation? Did the actors give strong interpretations of the characters? If this is a play you have not read or seen before, what were the most dramatically compelling parts of the story? Which characters have the strongest personalities? If you watched a movie of a play you already know, how successful were the performances in communicating what is essential about the play? What were the most or least effective choices made by the director and actors?

Avoid movies which are loose adaptations of Shakespeare’s stories (O, Ten Things I Hate About You, etc) done in modern language. Choose a film which contains the original language and story.

Suggestions (N.B. the PCDS library has over a dozen Shakespeare films, and I have several as well.)
Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet
Michael Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V
Laurence Olivier’s Henry V
Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet
Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet
Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet
Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night
Richard Loncraine’s Richard III
Laurence Olivier as Richard III
Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing
Roman Polanski’s Macbeth
Ian McKellen as Macbeth
Ethan Hawke as Hamlet
Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet
Al Pacino as Shylock in Merchant of Venice
Al Pacino as Richard III in Looking for Richard

(Simply identify in the text of your essay which film you are referencing and you will not need a works cited page for this assignment, since the text of your essay will contain only your own thoughts about the movie.)