We spent the first 3 weeks of class learning 2 different Shakespeare stories – A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew – and the group voted for their favorite for our final performance. Midsummer won in a close contest (much to the delight of the facilitators – many of us have been in this play at some point so we all hold a soft spot for the piece). We worked on making Shakespeare more relatable by asking questions like “Have you ever done something your parents told you not to do?” and “Have you ever loved someone who didn’t love you back?”, and, most importantly, “What would you do if you were this character?”
Midsummer is truly an ensemble show – there is no real “lead” and we enjoyed watching the teens connect with certain characters as the weeks went on. Some were in love with The Lovers, others wanted to be Rulers like Titania or Oberon, some were fascinated by the magical world of The Fairies, and, naturally, many related to The Mechanicals (who are also putting on a play). In March, the group had a chance to audition for their favorites, and we split the casting so each teen had a shot at 2 or 3 different roles.
For group numbers, we opened the show with a processional march introducing all of our Players and the 3 groups of characters in the show - Lovers, Fairies, and The Mechanicals - with different rhythm instruments. Other group performance pieces included a partnered dance to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”, and Puck's Closing Monologue ("If we shadows have offended") shared by the cast.
Guest Artist: Nathan Boecker choreographed a classic pavane to the famous Wedding March
Field Trip: Performance of Short Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier followed by a Q&A with the cast.
May 18th, 2012 at Neo-Futurists
Gigi’s Teen Drama Troupe
Mallory Schuh & Katie Yohe
Kendra Van Kempen
Lighting and Sound Technician
Brandy Taylor of Graphic Sorbet