Romeo and Juliet Final Projects A final project and presentation in response to Romeo and Juliet will be due Friday, 10/25. Students should begin work on this project as soon as possible. Each project will include some analytical writing; however, many of the options listed below emphasize art, music, creative writing, or additional research as a way for students to demonstrate their complex understanding of the play. Consider using one of these choices, but feel free to suggest new ideas for this assignment, too. _____________________________________________________________ 1. Create a CD that echoes the themes, characters, conflicts, and/or imagery of the play. Students choose a focus, compile 10-15 songs and lyrics, and write up an explanation of how these songs might be linked to Romeo and Juliet. Strong projects will have a clear sense of organization, quote both songs and the play as part of their explanation, and might include an imaginative cover for the cd. 2. Keep a character journal, writing from a specific character’s perspective. Successful journals include at least ten entries, create a recognizable voice for this character, and include details that show a clear understanding of the play. A variation on this prompt would be to write a series of letters instead of a journal. Some projects might include two characters, as when a student last year used a servant from each of the feuding houses to comment on the action of the play. Others have written from unexpected points of view: a character who disappears partway through the story, an actor struggling to understand his or her role, or even Shakespeare himself. 3. Create character portraits that illustrate your interpretation of 3-4 characters, their development, and their role within the play. You may use any art form—photographs, drawings, collage, even sculpture—to support your interpretation of these characters. Include an explanation of choices and quoted passages as part of this final project. 4. Adapt a scene from the book, putting it into a new form such as a radio play or a movie. For example, you might choose music and sound effects, create a working script, and tape a scene that seems especially dramatic or important. As part of your presentation, you will explain your choices and play this version for the class. 5. Perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet. Mark up a new scene in a manner similar to the promptbook work done in class: include notes for performance, suggestions for stage directions, and strong ideas about characters. You will hand in your script and perform this scene for the class. Costumes and props are encouraged; scenes can be filmed in advance. (This option is for a small group of students.) 6. Create a newspaper, writing about key moments within the play. This option should emphasize both writing and layout. For example, one student used familiar newspaper styles—eye-witness accounts, editorials, and advice columns—to suggest larger ideas about Verona’s community or elements within the world within the play. Others have picked key moments, such as the repeated street fights or the speeches of the Prince, to focus their news stories. 7. Conduct a mock interview with Shakespeare. For this option, include evidence of research into the author’s life and times. Then, write a script that includes questions you have about Romeo and Juliet, the author’s craft, and/or his historical context. As an alternative, students have created a panel of experts who argued about such topics, interspersing their discussion with taped performances of specific scenes. One pair used a talk show format. This option (as with #5) is for more than one student. Consider using costumes or ways to get your audience involved in a question and answer session. 8. Rewrite this play for another time, place, and conflict. We will have looked at two examples for this prompt in class: West Side Story and West Bank Story. Other writers have used it too—showing societies torn apart by religious warfare, class struggle, even battling cliques within a school. One year a student re-wrote the Capulet party as a clash between hippie vegetarians and conservative, meat-eating Republicans, another as a dreamlike scene involving hot-air balloons. Choose a situation that echoes the feud within the play and the chaos of different worlds coming together through two individuals. Translate Romeo and Juliet into a new setting with new characters and language, while keeping elements from the original.
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