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Shakespeare in Disguise  

Roberta D’Alois This is a literature course where we’ll discuss original scripts and modern adaptations of two of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. We'll read scenes out loud, watch video excerpts, read some in class, and analyze the themes and characters that have crossed the ages to entertain audiences to this day. Week 1: Introduction to Drama - Discussion: Romeo and Juliet - Watch brief excerpts of a few versions of Romeo and Juliet, as well as excerpts from West Side Story. Discuss differences and similarities from original to modern versions. Week 2: Read scenes from Romeo and Juliet - Discuss Romeo and Juliet from several perspectives – historical, emotional, intellectual. Week 3: Read scenes Romeo and Juliet - Watch excerpts of Shakespeare in Love, Goodnight Desdemona - Discussion: artistic license, transformation Week 4: King Lear - Read scenes, Watch excerpts of several versions. Discussion of themes and characters and their impact on modern audiences Week 5: Watch excerpts from Ran, A Thousand Acres - Discussion: What aspects of the original work do adaptations change and which aspects remain the same? How does this change the impact these works have on an audience? Week 6 Discussion: Compare the adaptations we have seen to the several original versions we’ve watched of both plays. Why adapt at all? Roberta D'Alois is a playwright and Artistic Director of Jump! Theatre, whose mission is to present theater based on authentic stories of mental illness. She has a B.A. with honors in Theatre Arts from Brandeis and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from San Francisco State, where she also teaches. She is a former instructor at SF Shakespeare Festival and at Holy Names University in Oakland. She is a former Artist in Residence at Z Space Studios and at Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, and was one of Theatre Bay Area’s inaugural ATLAS playwrights. Roberta has received several awards for excellence in Creative Writing, a CASH grant, and several grants for the Center for Cultural Innovation. Roberta was also chosen as one of the 2016-17 Fellows at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where she will work with 30 other artists and change makers to delve deeply into the intersection of cultural and social responsibility. Jump! Theatre was awarded a residency at ACT’s Costume Shop for Spring 2017 for their 8th Annual Springboard Series.


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