Double the Shakespeare, double the fun! The talented student group at Franklin Township Middle School West in Indianapolis kicked off their inaugural theatre program with a night of “Shattered Shakespeare”, performing the Shakespearean adaptations Drop Dead, Juliet! and Hamlet, Zombie Killer of Denmark. Rave reviews and state competition success – what a great start!
In the one-act comedy, Drop, Dead, Juliet! by Allison Williams, Juliet has had enough! No more poison, stabbing, or dying. Romeo and Juliet will never be the same – or will it? Not everyone’s so keen on the changes.
In the gruesomely comic adaptation, Hamlet, Zombie Killer of Denmark by Chris Stiles, Denmark is plagued with zombies. “Zombie or not zombie? That is the question.”
First-time director, Brent Williamson, shares his thoughts on the experience:
We recently performed a double feature of Drop Dead, Juliet! and Hamlet, Zombie Killer of Denmark here in Indianapolis. This is our first year ever doing a theater program at our middle school, and my first attempt at director.
It went fantastically, and we got rave reviews.
But… we didn’t quite know how good, until our High School director encouraged us to take a show to a regional thespian competition. Curious, we looked at it as a good learning opportunity, to see how the high school’s competed, and see what we could learn from them. So we prepped for another month, and took Juliet to competition.
AND WE CRUSHED IT. Our Juliet won best actress, and we came in second place, advancing to the STATE competition and beating out four seasoned high schools, INCLUDING last year’s state champions. Not bad for a first time middle school theater club.
So much of this came from your amazing and inspiring scripts. The judge’s loved the timely message of Juliet, and the clever writing. My students are in love with their show, and we wanted to say thank you.
Congratulations Franklin Township Middle School West on a great evening and a successful competition!
If you would like to be considered for an upcoming production feature, click here to submit your Theatrefolk play story.
by Julie Hartley
Shakespeare is one of the greatest resources a drama teacher can have. But teaching it can be a challenge. Practical Approaches to Shakespeare in the Drama Classroom helps drama teachers break down the Bard to make his themes, language and characters accessible to all.