The Romeo and Juliet Saga

Hey guys, if you’ve been reading my recent posts then you probably already know about our recent project that surrounded Romeo and Juliet. Well we’ve finally finished it, and now there is no better time to reflect on then the present. The Driving Question for this project was:

“How can we present a live audio story that makes an audience appreciate the relevance of Shakespeare?”

So as you can probably guess the final product would most likely be a live audio story of Romeo and Juliet presented by my class, which is the correct assumption to make. However, before we can get to that there were a few things we did in class that deserve to be talked about as well.

The first thing I’d like to talk about is the Podcast Episodes we made during the course of this project. Yes, you heard that right, episodes. We ended up having to make two separate episodes, both of which required us to get together with a couple predetermined classmates and discuss various topics. The thing was that these topics happened to be strongly related to Shakespeare and classic stories, as per the project, so these discussions that I had with my group stayed fairly vague in what was being said so it could be transferred to out podcast episodes and connected to our topic. You can listen to them here:

However, because I had to connect these seemingly unconnected topics I think I was able to use the competencies Analyze Text and Take Historical Perspectives fairly well. You see, specifically for the Adaptions podcast episode I ended up watching parts of multiple ballets and reading many articles on these ballets as well since most ballets are adaptions of classic stories. I looked at the patterns between the ballets and the knowledge I have of ballets and used that to explain how stories are adapted into the ballet format. I also had to think about the time periods of when they were created since modern ballet are a lot more different then the classical ballets from the romantic era. Now, I don’t want to sound like for the start I was great at looking for the correlation between my podcast topic and our co-hosted interview topics, I actually struggled a bit with it for the first episode since I didn’t do nearly enough research so my connections were a lot more vague due to that. But I did learn from my mistakes and for the second episode I almost over did it with the amount of research I did into the ballets, I actually ended up writing a whole rant about how amazing of an adaption the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ballet was because of the research I did on it.

Of course this project didn’t surround these podcast episodes, no that honour went to the live radio play of Romeo and Juliet that our class was to write produce and broadcast to the world in a little over a week. I happened to be put on the script team with Meg, Matthew, Thomas, Ben, Jude, and Kaia so for the first few days it was non stop work to try and write a fully fleshed out script that incorporated the ideas that the creative team would provide us, which happened to be extremely ridiculous at times. Since this was such a time sensitive situation we ended up creating a bit of a hierarchy to the team so that the work would get done and be quality work. Matthew ended up becoming the DRI with Kaia supposed to be the time manager and I was to be the head editor with the others taking on individual acts to write and be put together once they were done. However, that wasn’t how it ended up playing out since I ended up having to take over act 1 due to the fact that ben was absent for the first day and the job of editor unofficially was passed over to Meg.

Now for this next part to make sense there is a couple of things you need to know about me and my experience in group projects. First thing is that all through last year I ended having to become a the sort of background leader for the groups I was in and pushed the group to certain conclusions, wether I was more openly vocal about what I thought was best of did it a little more subconsciously depended on what the group was like. But overall I usually had a fair amount of influence. The other thing you should know is that during our creation of the co-hosted podcasts I ended up having to lead the discussion and flow of the conversation for no other reason then I was feeling pretty talkative during those days and could push both Kaia and Anthony into what we were talking about. So with that in mind I think it was fairly safe to say that I was totally ready to push my group to the best ideas, but like I said I ended up having to take over act 1 and Meg took over. It was a bit of a shock at first but I think this kind of laid back feeling that I got from just being able to listen to critique and be on my way without having to manage everyone else was something that I desperately needed. I had to be reminded that I don’t always need to be in control of the situation.

Another bonus to this arrangement was that I was able to use the Innovative Designer competency in a much more effective way. A bit out of left field, I know, but I do think that as well as stopping me from getting a god complex I was able to focus on my own work more and work out the kinks. I had a bit of a problem of putting too much detail into the script so I came up with a system of writing it out then going through it and cutting or merging lines to shorten it then I would go through again and modernize the language. I would then send it off to Ben for some final critiques and then add it to the script. It worked pretty well in my opinion and was a great solution to my problem.

If I was going to say one thing I learned from this project it would be that different people lead better in different situations and it is up to the groups and people to find who is best suited. As well as the fact that sometimes it’s better to let other take charge and to just be a follower to their ideas and suggestions but to still voice your opinions. Yes it may be cheesy but it’s something that I had to relearn.

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