We just finished our latest project, which was all about Shakespeare. For this project we had to make podcast episodes, read about Shakespeare, and even make our own play on top of answering the driving question of “How can we present a live audio story that makes an audience appreciate the relevance of Shakespeare?”. Needless to say, this was no small feat, and going over everything we did would take ages, so I will go over the parts that stood out to me the most. Before we move forward, there were also some competencies for this project, which I will cover as we go.
We started off by discussing Shakespeare, basically who he was, and the different plays he wrote. We did a few different activities, mainly focusing on Romeo and Juliet. We started to get into different questions, like “How might I make this appealing to a modern audience?”, which we did a writing activity on. And then we started getting into bigger, more complicated questions, like “What makes a classic?”. Fortunately, we wouldn’t have to solve these questions alone. For the first time ever we were going to do a co-hosted podcast episode, and not just one, but two of these episodes, which you can listen to down below.
This next episode deals with the question of “What makes an adaptation?”, and it is a bit more streamlined since I got feedback on my first episode.
Overall, these episodes were pretty fun to make because you could just have a conversation, there wasn’t much of a script to write or anything. We did have to do some research beforehand, but it was more of an outline of what we were going to talk about. I think the ideas that came from these conversations ended up being very interesting and answered the questions as well. I actually think that these podcast episodes are a great example of me using the Analyzing Texts competency, because in our episodes lots of the discussion points came from us sharing what we had learned about literary devices, language, context, and how they affect the reader/viewer.
While these podcast episodes were going on, we continued our other research on Shakespeare, reading through the whole play of Romeo and Juliet, watching different versions, and other stuff like that. We finished by taking what we had learned and writing about it in Milestone 3, which was about historical perspective and what we had seen from these different interpretations. I think this milestone was another example of a competency being used, this time the Take Historical Perspective competency. I think this because the milestone was mainly about taking historical perspective when looking at the different interpretations that were made.
After we had done all this research and reading on Shakespeare, it was time to put it to use. Because we, as a class, now had to write and preform our own version of Romeo and Juliet. Also, since we had been doing a lot of podcasting, it had to be presented as a radio play. We were split into four different groups to start production, and I got to be a member of the creative team.
We were mainly responsible for casting roles and giving ideas to the script and music teams. At first, the main thing we had to do was help the script team come up with ideas and ways to make the play more entertaining. We also had to help iron out a lot of kinks in the script and with the music team. I did this enough that I think it became of a good example of the Innovative Designer competency, because there were a few times where I came up with particularly creative solutions to problems we had.
But once the script was tweaked a bit it was looking pretty good. It was basically a class preforming Romeo and Juliet, so just the normal play but with commentary from some students and a teacher. It was also shortened quite a bit. At this point the next job for the creative team was to do casting.
Despite the shortened play, nearly everyone in the class would have a role, so it was pretty tough at first. But once smaller roles started to get filled in it got a lot easier. I even got myself a role with a decent amount of lines as the teacher. Before we preformed, we had to rehearse a lot and make some last minute changes. Unfortunately, my character got cut down to size, and ended up becoming the narrator for the intro, but overall I think the revised script was a big improvement. When it finally came time to preform, it went just as planned, and was a big success.
So overall, I definitely learned a lot from this project. I learned more about Shakespeare than I think I will ever need, I picked up some new podcasting skills, and it was fun watching those Romeo and Juliet adaptations (No Gnomeo and Juliet though.). I also learned what it’s like to cast people for roles, because I have only really done acting before, not casting. So yeah, that’s about it for this blog post, but make sure to stay tuned for more.