Colonizing in a tempest

You may know someone very famous called… Shakespeare!! Well to finish up humanities for grade eight we learned about his play, The Tempest, as well as learning about the colonization of New France. You may be wondering how exactly we connected these two topics, and it turns out that there are many relations. But how would we show this? Well we were given the task of a performance, but it would be in the form of a Tableaux and there would be five different groups to play the five acts in the play, but they had to be set in New France.

Everyone obviously knew the basics of who Shakespeare was and what he did. But we needed to know more about him before we could just jump right into his play. Once we knew more we got an app called The Tempest which was very confusing at first as the way it was written was hard to understand at times. So to make it easier we watched the movie. We watched one act of the movie at a time, and read a reading about New France every act.

Each act connected to something different about New France, act 1 was the theme of colonization, act 2 it was settlement and trade, for act 3 it was about the daily lives of the major players in New France, like the conflict within religion as the French wanted everyone to be Christian. Act 4 related to the major rivaling fur trading companies (The Hudson’s Bay Company, and The North West Company.) and finally my groups (Gabby, Sam, and Aedan) act 5 was about the resolution, and the Fall of New France.

We finished off the play and the readings and we began looking at the 2-3 main points in each act as we wouldn’t be able to show every detail so we just picked the main ones. Every group would have 2 or 3 scenes to perform, which had to relate to there acts connection to New France, my groups act had to relate to the Fall of New France and the resolution as I mentioned before. But to really make our tableaux’s come to life we made backgrounds that could have sound effects and motion but we, ourselves have to stay still during the performance. Here my groups (act 5) backgrounds in order from scene 1-3.

Scene 1 background

Since there wouldn’t be anyone moving it would be pretty difficult to understand if we just played our background and stood on stage, so a narrater would explain each scene. We wrote a script that wasn’t to long as the main focus would be our tableaux, and we decided as a group that Gabby could do the narration. We came together as a class to decide on costumes that would be continuous throughout each group, so if in act 1 someone wore a pink dress for Miranda (a main character in The Tempest) then any other act Miranda was in the person playing her would also wear that same dress. This would just give the audience a better idea of who is who. We then practiced a couple times with costumes, background, and lighting and we were finally ready to perform.

Everyone did really well and the performance turned out great! This was definitely a great way to wrap up the year and I think everyone had fun watching our performance back!! Until my next post.

– Paisley

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