This week's student blogger, Benjamin W. '23, shares his gratefulness for Drama class during a pandemic and what the class has been working on.
The pandemic has limited many activities, but fortunately, Drama class has not been one of them. I have still been able to take Drama as an elective class at school. It is true that I have not been able to perform in front of an audience, and that I have had to perform while wearing masks and social distancing. However, I’m still ecstatic that the pandemic hasn’t limited this activity.
Today, I’ll be discussing a project that I worked on with a partner for my Drama class. In this project, my partner and I performed two scenes. One was a Shakespeare scene that we memorized and rehearsed over the course of a few weeks. The second was a modern adaptation of the first scene that we wrote ourselves. We could not perform them in front of a live audience, but Ms. Butchy, our Drama Subject Expert Teacher, recorded them.
The Shakespeare scene that we recorded was Act IV Scene ii from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. This wasn’t my first time performing Shakespeare, but nevertheless, I still had difficulty handling some of the unfamiliar words and pronunciations. As a result, I had to look up the meaning of several words to have a better idea of what my character was saying. It made memorization of the scene a bit more difficult than usual, but I still enjoyed the experience.
The scene itself was quite entertaining. It consisted of a meeting between two characters, both of which were heading to a sheep-shearing that would occur later in the play. I was playing the Clown, a comically clueless character. My partner was playing Autolycus, a clever “rogue” who survived by his wits. The scene was full of absurd humor. Autolycus succeeded in pickpocketing the Clown by using a variety of tactics, such as storytelling, begging, and tripping.
The second scene we performed was our modern adaptation. Autolycus was replaced by Alonso, an egoistic YouTuber hungry for more subscribers, and the Clown was replaced by Carl, a clueless kid looking to buy money for a gaming setup. Instead of a market, the scene took place inside a mall closed for the night, a perfect location for a thief to get away with a robbery. The methods used by Alonso to rob Carl were equally as ridiculous, if not more ridiculous, than those Autolycus used in the original scene. Alonso managed to persuade Carl to run up a down escalator, attempt a cartwheel, and perform his yo-yo skills. None of these worked, but Alonso was finally successful after encouraging Carl to hunt down an evil mall cop that did not actually exist.
So far, drama class has presented some new experiences. I had to face restrictions caused by the virus, pronounce Shakespeare’s language correctly, and write a scene. These experiences have increased my confidence to do a wider variety of performances on stage.