Scope for Imagination

Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?

-Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shakespeare at Nevin Elementary School

It actually had not been my idea to do Romeo and Juliet with the Nevin kids.

I was hired on after the project was in full swing, to teach the kids a bit about design and to help them create scenery for the production.

We looked at photo research of Shakespeare's Old Globe Theater, of scenery from all kinds of R&J shows: movies, stage plays, operas and ballets.

Some were modern,

some were all romance and Renaissance,

some an eclectic mix of periods and styles.

We looked at pictures of the real Verona.

We made a bunch of drawings.
I encouraged us to look at the way Shakespeare used Celestial Language when Romeo and Juliet talk of each other:

"It is the East and Juliet is the sun" (he says of her)

"Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.” (she says of him)

Anyway there are about 15 more heavenly references, including:

Prologue: “A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life”

So our concept for the show became:
"Verona's Ancient Feud Runs so Deep, that it takes the Power of the Sun and Moon to turn Hate into Love."

As part of our scenery we decided to make 8 giant murals for the auditorium. 4 with the sun moving across the Verona sky on the west wall, and 4 with the moon in his various phases on the east.

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