Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teaching Shakespeare in Taiwan

Six years ago I got serious about teaching Shakespeare by re-writing the Bard’s plays as ridiculous farces poking fun at different aspects of American pop culture. Starting with “Hamlet and Eggs,” my classes then moved to: “Much Ado About Yo Mama!”Midsummer Night’s High School Comedy,” “Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom, the Taming of a Mafia Princess,” “As You Like It- The Real World,” “Shrek Lear,” “Romeo and Juliet, the Musical,” and finally, “The Jedi of Venice, the Revenge of Darth Jew.” This time around, while here in Taiwan, my students will perform “MacBackstreet: A Tragic Tale of Murder, Corporate Greed, and Asian Boy Bands.”

Purpose:
To study the plays of William Shakespeare by turning our class into an acting troupe and acting, directing, and producing a performance for the public.

The Assignment:
Students will read a Shakespeare play, work in teams to translate each scene, then Mr. Hartenstein will take your translations and write a new script. This script will be edited for jokes and content, divided into roles of actors, directors, costume and prop people, music and light supervisors, and advertisers. We will practice during class each day for a month, students will be expected to know their lines and blocking, take direction and cues from peers, and produce this play on their own. Students will then write reports on their experience interacting with Shakespeare in a real live way. All money earned from ticket sales will be donated by students to a cause decided later. (Not a pizza party, sorry)

Notes:
Today was the first day we started MacBackstreet (Macbeth), and over the course of this next month I will let you know how it goes. Wish us luck!

7 comments:

  1. HI!WE ARE YOYO AND MARY.
    IT'S 2009.12.16
    WE ARE PLAYING SHAKESPEARE!
    EMBRASSING...
    DO NOT FORGET US 8A-3!!!
    WE ARE THE FIRST ONE TO POST A COMMENT!!
    THE FIRST!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Well, I'm just a "directer", so, I don't need to memorize any lines...... thank god.
    but what I know is: A directer is really a "important" character?! So......(I don't have anything to say == )
    Sarah ~

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  3. Hi, I'm Quintin. I hope you will like my music.

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  4. hey ~ check it out !!!
    we're sunny and kt
    we're all here to celebrate this new start for us
    looking forward to it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Give ya a comment again! See ya

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  6. I loved this assignment! Definitely my best memory of freshman year.
    Good luck!

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