I am enthralled with this making-of clip. My ESL Drama students recently spent a few weeks working with Romeo and Juliet, using the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels version of the play. We read and discussed sections of the play as a group, with student leaders translating into Arabic at times. They created their own scenes, in their own words, to explore alternate possibilities and outcomes. (We also discussed “Romeo and Juliet” themed incidents in today’s world, such as a family feud in Egypt that was covered by major news outlets a few years ago – I saved a hard copy of the article torn from the Toronto Star. A young Muslim woman and a young Christian man were in love, and their families were vehemently opposed to their relationship. Fighting and deaths resulted.)
Following our scene work, we watched Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 version of the play, Romeo + Juliet. My students found this version captivating – the combination of raw emotion coupled with its carnivalesque atmosphere meant that even students who were just beginning to learn the English language could follow the story and feelings.
So, now I’ll share this clip with you, and them – to remind us how much goes into the creative process. Also, it boggles my mind how immediate the transformation from person to character is, in film. Growing up in theatre, I suppose I’m most familiar with chronological, immersive, dedicated spaces of time where you act…and then…the play ends! (And you do it all over again, start to finish, the next night. And the next!) It’s a joy to watch a very young Clarie Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio playfully practice their lines in a half-built pool wearing track suits. Their joy, in acting, is apparent.
Also, fellow “young” teachers…not going to lie, realizing how young both actors were when they filmed this made me feel slightly…old?!
Students and colleagues, enjoy!