After studying A Midsummer Night's Dream, I like to give my students the opportunity to create their own modern rewrites. I divide the play up into six sections and have students work in groups to produce modern scripts. They work from the original script. On the left side of their document is the original text, and on the right side they compose their own version. (Documents in both Word and Excel formats included in this download.) Students can hand write on the documents or upload them into GoogleDocs for easier collaboration.
Each time a character has a line in the original text, students must give them a line in their new version. However, the character must speak in modern language and speak MUCH more concisely. Students usually feel the need to "translate" the script word for word, but I push them to get the "gist" and then have their character communicate it the way they themselves would have said it. Establishing a tight word limit or a time limit for their overall script helps them to cut down the lines even further.
Once the scripts are complete (should only take one class period), students get one class period to cast and to rehearse their section. I also require a simple costume piece for each character. I have a big box of hats, etc, but students can also bring in their own pieces. The next day we put all the sections together for one big performance. The whole project takes three class days. I have also differentiated this project with my Honors section by requiring the students to produce films instead of giving a live performance; however, this causes the project to take at least 2 additional days.
I have included rubrics, including a self evaluation and group evaluation piece.
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