Much Ado About...Change
In Much Ado About Nothing, there is much ado about many things. Each character goes through their own personal journey of learning. Choose one word for each character at the beginning of the story and then again at the end.
Think About it:
Which character has the most pronounced change from beginning to end?
Which characters did you most connect with their journey? Why?
Try it Out:
Map your own journey. Choose a time in your life and map your evolution just like you did for the characters in Much Ado.
Shakespeare’s works were written over 400 years ago. In 2021, our lives and society are socially, technologically, politically, and in many other ways different from Shakespearean England. But why do we keep studying, performing, and celebrating these works?
Many theatremakers and scholars are creating adaptations, much like this version of Much Ado About Nothing, that update Shakespeare’s classics to better resonate with audiences in 2021. These adaptations often focus more on the humanity within the stories: stripping away or adjusting colonized and racially charged language and storylines (unless dramatically applicable to the story), casting characters with different gender identities than originally written, and many other theatrical elements that bring the stories into a present and future mindset.
Think About It:
Why do you think that Shakespeare and other classic works should continue to be performed in 2021? Why or why not?
Do you agree with updating “classic” works? Why or why not?
Lots of movies have taglines, giving the audience a flavor of the story before they see it. (Movie: This is how it’s gonna make you feel!) This can also be done with Shakespeare’s works.
Think about some of your favorite Shakespearean plays (Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, etc.) and give them a tagline.
How do you encompass the flavor of the show in one line?
Now take a look at the shows again. Do you see any problematic elements (things that might not fly in 2021) in the original script? What are they?
Adjust your tagline to include some of those problematic elements. Do you still want to see the show?
How would you change your favorite Shakespeare to make the problematic elements either more 2021, or use them to teach a lesson? How does that change the story/the language/the characters?
Create a new tagline for your adaptation. Do you still want to see it?
Much Ado About...
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