Sunday, February 27, 2011

To Be or Not to Be

This past week was the 6th grades' Shakespeare performances at our school. And Finn, being in 6th grade, participated. Now if you had asked me a year ago that Finn would be excited to perform these plays and would even excel at them, I would say (with a Nacho Libre accent) "You're craaazie!" In the past I would never call Finn the dramatic type or the type that likes to draw attention to himself. He can be shy and quiet at times. But Finn has an awesome 6th grade teacher who works all year to help these kids "release their inner dork"- as she calls it. And the Shakespeare plays really highlight all her hard work. These plays are extremely well done. And it isn't a dumbed-down version of Shakespeare- it is the real thing- with costumes, set designs, staging and all. They do shortened versions of four different plays- "Hamlet", "Taming of the Shrew", "Macbeth" and "Mid-Summer's Night Dream" You can tell the teacher and parents who help really work with the kids on expression, dialogue, projection, style and humor. She even encourages them to add their own personality to their parts. Here is Finn as Demetrius in "Mid-Summer's Night Dream". He is fighting with Lysander over Helena. Originally they just fight with swords, but it was Finn's idea to add a light saber.

Soon after this fight, the girls- Helena and Hermia fight and it was Finn's idea to have the boys sit down with a tub of popcorn to watch the "Cat-fight."
And just to prove how much these plays have stretched Finn outside of his comfort zone, here he is begging Helena for a kiss:

Sorry- that would be Pertruchio's hat in the way!
These experiences really help the kids grow. It is awesome to see their humor, personality and confidence blossom right before your eyes.
Earlier last week Finn texted one of his friends who had missed the first day of the performances. This friend was playing Hamlet so Finn was letting him know he really needed to be there. The friend decided to text back right in the middle of scripture reading. I gave Finn "the look" when he got the text. He looked at it quickly and started laughing. I told him since it interrupted scripture study, he needed to share it with all of us. In response to Finn's pleadings for his presence, the friend texted, "I shall come to fulfill my role. Thou needst not worry."
Now you tell me, what other 6th graders would text that and think it is funny if they hadn't been exposed to Shakespeare.
Me thinks I needst not worry about what Finn is doing at school.
Helena, Hermia, Lysander & Demetrius


Julie said...

I think that looks like so much fun that we need to study and get ready for our own play. Who wouldn't want to see us prancing around the stage speaking shakespearian and professing our love to one another? I love it!

Thelissa said...

This is really cool! Good for him! I am very impressed. It is a little sad though. This story made me think about what I was doing in 6th grade and it made think more about the fact that 7th grade follows! Your baby is growing up!

Oh, and you know your "you're pretty too" story. I had a similar thing happen over the weekend, only I'm "lovely too..." I wish I could have poked the girl in the nose, but that is against my religion.:)

Lori said...

Go William!!! I love Shakespeare and the festival that Longview has! I am so glad that Finn found his inner dork!

kjirsten said...

That is SO AWESOME!!! I love it! I wish my kiddos would get exposed to Shakespeare like that -- and be able to embrace it and have fun with it. What a GREAT teacher . . . I think finding your "inner dork" is a brilliant idea!! What a cutie Finn is . . . I loved all of his clever ideas!