Mr. McKenna’s Class Interprets Romeo and Juliet

Last week, Mr. McKenna invited faculty members to observe his 9th grade students put on part of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Each student group has one act of the play that they must interpret and perform.  The assignment, serving as a final project, was meant to be somewhat fun.

Mr. McKenna described his project to his students as follows:

The Project has three Major Components, but a strong clear interpretation is most important.  Make a strong choice! (What type of Romeo & Juliet World? Goth? Hippie? Glee? Teen Wolf? Star Wars? Hunger Games? Yankees vs. Mets?)  Be creative!:

  • Your Group’s Performance of your Assigned Act.
    • Your act must reflect a strong unified mise en scene.  The mise en scene should be reflected in performance, costumes, set, lights, and sound.
    • Your scene should not last longer than 7-8 mins to perform.  Decide as a group on the cuts, and makes the cuts right away.  After making the cuts, read scene aloud, timing yourselves, and making necessary adjustments.  Allow for extra time- performing a scene takes more time than just reading it.
    • Cast the scene.  You may need to have one or two people play two small parts or you may need to split up the longer parts between two people.  NOTE: EVERY MEMBER OF THE ACTING COMPANY MUST HAVE A SPEAKING PART.
    • Give special attention to movement.  How the characters talk and move, their facial expressions, hand gestures, body language, movement around the stage and in relation to the other characters on the stage.
    • Plan costumes and props.  Incorporate extra touches like sound effects, music, or programs to hand out.
    • Memorize your lines.  In order to deliver the lines without sounding wooden and unemotional, you need to practice the lines over and over with feeling, pauses, and varying tone of voice
  • Design Portfolio
    • Costume Drawings (Each character in your Act) and Set Drawing.
    • Must reflect mise en scene. (These drawings should reflect what the costumes and sets would look like if you were doing a professional production and had lots of $)
  • The Director’s Promptbook
    • Write an Introductory Page for the prompt book in which you explain your overall concept of the scene and how you plan to convey that concept to the audience.  In other words, as an acting company, what are you trying to show about the characters, the plot, the mood, etc.?
    • Indicate the cuts that you make.  In margin explain briefly why you cut the scene as you did.
    • In the margin, make production notes about the way you want the scene to be played.  Include information about tone of voice, hand gestures, facial expressions, body language, and blocking (where the characters move on stage)

I visited one of Mr. McKenna’s classes and enjoyed the preparation, enthusiasm and effort of the students. Thank you to Mr. McKenna for helping his students through such a wonderful assignment.2014-05-30 09.57.45-1 2014-05-30 09.57.45 2014-05-30 09.54.49 2014-05-30 09.53.50 2014-05-30 09.53.45 2014-05-30 09.52.54 2014-05-30 09.45.38 2014-05-30 09.45.25






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