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This be madness     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on February 2nd, 2010

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it…”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been cast! Woo! The process ended up being far easier than I thought it would be, due (largely) to the talent and enthusiasm of my class. We’re down to 21 students (from 22) so there are actually more actors with two roles than one. Yesterday (Monday) was our first read through and I think it went fairly well; I still need a lot more energy and madness from them, but that will come in time. After the read through we were able to do a little blocking before our brief hour and a half was up.


Unfortunately we only have class once a week, so with our performances tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in April…I’m a bit apprehensive. Luckily all my students are willing to give up some recesses and lunch breaks to work, AND they’re willing to help with props and costumes. Right now their assignment is to sketch their costume(s). Ultimately I’ll decide the costumes (or our means and budget will), but I’m open to incorporating their ideas as well. Regardless of whether I use their design I think it will be a good exercise for them. Of course I’m busy sketching costumes too; I hope to put them up online somewhere soon.

In English we’re still working through Romeo and Juliet; we’re up to Act 4! I’m extremely pleased to say that my students think Romeo an immature playboy. While that’s a bit harsh I have to admit that I agree: he’s an immature boy who’s in love with the idea of love, he knows nothing of the real thing. He plays the part of the courtly lover, but “[his] love did read by rote, and could not spell” (2.3.95). I worried that my class would over romanticize the story and take it as an example of “twoo wuv,” but they all seem to have good heads on their shoulders. I love what they have to say in our discussions:

~”Why is she letting him kiss her? She doesn’t know him! Who let’s someone they just met kiss them???”
~”They may think they’re in love, but they’re too young to know what real love is.”
~”They’re just acting the way they think they should act.”
~”I think they’re confusing like with love. Real love is more than just thinking someone’s cute.”

Okay, so those aren’t verbatim quotes, but that’s the gist of what they’re saying!

Last week I gave them their assignment for their unit project: performing a scene from Romeo and Juliet. They’re quite excited; they love being able to get up and act.

On a different note, I’ve been trying to be an encouragement to the kids in my classes. I don’t know if it’s working in every case, but one parent made sure to let me know that my encouragement had impacted their child. Please pray that I might find effective ways of encouraging all of my students.

Ta, more later!


Katherine Elyse

P.S- Have I mentioned that I rather enjoy pop quizzes? The groans of those who didn’t do their assigned reading…

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