In the process of digging up a modern day Romeo and Juliet blog that a friend shared with me awhile back (it was really cool! Each character had a bio, lots of photos, and they would each take turns blogging, each blog adding a bit to the story – it was really clever!), I stumbled across things like this…
Grade ten students who re-wrote the R&J balcony scene via text message:
Then, I found a twitter version of Romeo & Juliet that the Royal Shakespeare Company did in 2010.
“Royal Shakespeare Company retelling Bard’s Romeo and Juliet with cast of six over five weeks and 4,000 tweets…”
Really similar to the blog I mentioned at the beginning, RSC did a modern-day retelling of Romeo & Juliet via twitter. Each of the actors tweeted as their character, then responded to one another, as well as the general public. The storyline has also been slightly altered…
“This time, Juliet is the daughter of a successful property developer. Her mother died in a car driven by the artist Montague; her father will no longer tolerate any of his works in the house, much less his son. Her brother Tybalt is well on his way to being expelled from his latest boarding school, and their older sister Jess, nicknamed Nurse, keeps well out of the way of their new stepmother.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/apr/12/shakespeare-twitter-such-tweet-sorrow)
The story was improvised by six actors and ran for 5 weeks. They worked with a writer, Tim Wright and did their best to incorporate tweet responses from the general public as well as making commentary (as their characters) on current events.
“LaurenceFriar, Monday afternoon In my town the big problem is family feuding. Would love 2 talk 2 others about how to deal with *that* problem.
Julietcap16, Monday afternoon Just got home from school! A day full of boring maths lessons!! Boys at shoool are SO minging!! Seriously i so can’t wait to find my Cullen.”
In another article from Paste Magazine (http://www.pastemagazine.com), they included funny tweets that they would have included had they been cast members.
“A Facebook status by any other name would be a tweet.” Kristen Callihan
“A virus on both your hard drives!” RD
“But soft! What light from yonder laptop breaks? It is the Facebook, and Juliet is looking at my profile again.” Rachel Bailey
Some of the actors even took it beyond the twitter world and made youtube videos for an even further glimpse into their worlds! Check out this video that Juliet posted…
Stay tuned – we just may attempt our own Shakespeare tweeting soon! Summarizing a Shakespeare play in 140 characters?
S.I.A IS ARTISTIC COMPANY IN RESIDENCE AT CENTRAL TORONTO ACADEMY. © SHAKESPEARE IN ACTION 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.