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Spring SAVY 2017, Day 4- Designing Shakespeare

Posted by on Monday, February 20, 2017 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY blog.

Team Designing Shakespeare:

How wonderful to be back with you for the full class session! I missed our lively discussions, and the enthusiasm with which you encounter each new revelation in Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST.

We covered a lot today, and I continue to be impressed with your inventiveness and your discoveries.  Your designs are becoming more imaginative and unique, while also more grounded by textual evidence. This is the best possible direction for any design process!

Today we revisited four characters from past readings: Prospero, Miranda, Antonio, and Ariel.  Regarding Ariel, I’m delighted that we came away with more questions than answers, as Ariel should be inscrutable and fascinating. Is Ariel male or female? Is Ariel fire or water? Is Ariel a spirit, a sprite, or something for which we don’t have a name?

Of course, designers must “make choices” and your renderings of Ariel are eclectic and exciting. I can honestly say that you’ve taken this character in directions I’ve never seen nor expected. Outstanding!

We stepped away from Shakespeare’s text during the middle part of our class, investigating instead the four qualities of light: intensity, color, direction, and movement. We studied examples of various applications of light, and we saw three short videos that I suspect will further inspire your thoughts about designing with light: we saw how color and directionality could appear to change the shape of an actress’s face, and we saw how a light source can be anything from a soft overhead glow to the blue of a lightsaber against the red glow of lava.

We ended our class by investigating my favorite character, Caliban.  As with Ariel, we seem to have more questions than answers.  Is Caliban a man? Is he part fish? Is he part demon? Is he pitiable? Is he monstrous? The decisions made about Caliban go a long way towards defining the arc of this story, and the journey of our hero, Prospero.  Spare a thought before next Saturday: If Prospero’s journey is from a closed-off man of vengeance, to a more open person capable of forgiveness, what is the best way to imagine the native of the island that Prospero enslaved?

Thanks again. I’m looking forward to next week, when we’ll be looking at magic, magical creatures, and the ways in which a production can imagine the unimaginable.