Globe Education Academy: Day 7

Many apologies for so many days between posts.  Our schedule at the Academy didn’t leave a lot of room for blogging, and the jet-lag that I’ve been experiencing didn’t leave a lot of motivation to blog.  I’ll be catching up on the last four days of the Academy throughout this week.  I’ll also be posting photos–yes, long overdue–from my trip.

On Tuesday, we returned to the Globe well-caffeinated, and ready to work.

We started with a two hour session with Margo on “Creating a Production.”  For the first time, we sat down together to tackle the task of putting together our own production of Taming of the Shrew with our students.  Our first goal was to split the play into 12 parts.  (Each of us will be responsible for casting and directing one of these sections, our students eventually performing on stage at Mondavi.)  Margo split us into two groups to come up with a list of sections.  As always, she had us practice what we were learning: creating a tableaux for each of our scenes.  We then compared our lists and compiled one master list.  This was e-mailed to all of us so that we could take a look at it on our “spare time” and come back later in the week to finalize.

Our next session continued our Globe Education Practice.  We worked with Romeo and Juliet.  First, Margo split us into groups of three.  Each group was given three strips of paper that contained key lines from the text (each line representing a separate moment in the play).  We came up with a tableaux for each of the lines.  Then, Margo had us sit in a circle, and began to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet as if it were a fairytale.  When she got to each of the major moments, a group would go up and create their tableaux.  One member of the group would read the line.  They would then sit down and Margo would continue with the story.

I thought that this activity could be great at the beginning of a Shakespeare unit: to preview the play.  It could also really work at the end, to summarize what was learned.  You could also do this for individual scenes.

Next, we turned to a particular scene in Romeo and Juliet (the beginning of 3.1, starting with Tybalt’s entrance).  After reading the scene through with a partner, Margo introduced us to five signs:

  1. To accept: We opened our arms wide
  2. To block: We crossed our arms in an “X” in front of ourselves
  3. To hook: We moved our arm like we were hooking an object
  4. To probe: We pointed and twisted our finger from one side to another
  5. To attack: We made stabbing motions with our pointing finger

We then worked in groups reading the same scene (each person taking on one character).  Our job was to decide which actions went with the words we were speaking.  After time to decide and practice, Margo had groups demonstrate what they had come up with.  What was interesting to note was the different–and valid–reasoning between groups.

Knowing that there would be differences between groups, Margo introduced a protocol in order to ask questions during a group’s demonstration.  We could clap to interrupt and ask a question.  Allowing the class to interrupt and ask a question holds the group presenting accountable to the actions that they had decided upon.

To finish, we looked at a scene between Banquo and Macbeth.  In pairs, we read through the scene.  Margo then introduced the following idea:

  • When your character is attacking, take a step towards your partner.
  • When your character is retreating, take a step away from your partner.
  • When your character is trying to figure things out/maneuver, step to the side to circle your partner.

Again, this got us thinking about the intention behind dialogue.

After two hours of historical dance, we had an hour for dinner and then three hours of rehearsal in preparation for our performance Wednesday night.

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