ROMEO AND JULIET - Stratford Festival

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ROMEO AND JULIET - Stratford Festival

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ROMEO

AND JULIET

Daniel Briere, Sara Topham

FESTIVAL THEATRE

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Tim Carroll

MAY 1 TO OCTOBER 19 – OPENS MAY 27

Production support is generously provided by

Claire & Daniel Bernstein and M. Vaile Fainer

Production Sponsor

Additional funding generously provided by Members and patrons

of the Stratford Festival and Stratford Festival of America.


Table of Contents

The Place

The Stratford Festival Story ........................................................................................ 1

The Play

The Playwright: William Shakespeare ........................................................................ 3

A Shakespearean Timeline ......................................................................................... 4

Cast of Characters ...................................................................................................... 6

Plot Synopsis ............................................................................................................... 7

Sources and Production History ................................................................................. 8

The Production

Artistic Team and Cast ............................................................................................... 10

Lesson Plans and Activities

Juliet’s Troubled Imaginations ........................................................................... 11

Paris’ Soliloquy ..................................................................................................... 14

The R & J Debates ............................................................................................... 16

Discussion Topics ............................................................................................... 18

Resources ..................................................................................................... 19


The

Stratford

Story

That Stratford, Ontario, is the home of

the largest classical repertory theatre

in North America is ultimately

attributable to the dream of one man,

Stratford-born journalist Tom

Patterson.

In the early 1950s, seeing the

economy of his home town

endangered by the withdrawal of the

railway industry that had sustained it

for nearly 80 years, Patterson

conceived the idea of a theatre festival

devoted to the works of William

Shakespeare. His vision won the

support not only of Stratford City

Council and an enthusiastic committee

of citizens, but also of the legendary

British actor and director Tyrone

Guthrie, who agreed to become the

proposed festival’s first Artistic

Director. The Stratford Shakespearean

Festival of Canada was incorporated

as a legal entity on October 31, 1952.

A giant canvas tent was ordered from a

firm in Chicago, and in the parklands

by Stratford’s Avon River work began

on a concrete amphitheatre at the

centre of which was to be a

revolutionary thrust stage created to

Guthrie’s specifications by

internationally renowned theatrical

designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch.

discontent/ Made glorious summer by

this sun of York.” Those words marked

the triumphant end to what had

sometimes seemed a hopeless

struggle against the odds to turn

Patterson’s dream into a reality – and

the beginning of an astonishing new

chapter in Canadian theatre history.

The other production of that inaugural

six-week season, a modern-dress

version of All’s Well That Ends Well,

opened the following night, confirming

the opinion of celebrated novelist

Robertson Davies that the new Festival

was an achievement “of historic

importance not only in Canada, but

wherever theatre is taken seriously –

that is to say, in every civilized country

in the world.”

Time proved the truth of Davies’

words, for the Festival’s pillared,

porticoed thrust stage revolutionized

the performance of classical and

contemporary theatre in the latter half

of the 20th century and inspired the

design of more than a dozen other

major venues around the world,

including the Guthrie Theatre in

Minneapolis, the Beaumont Theatre at

Lincoln Centre and, in England, the

Chichester Festival Theatre, the

Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and the

Olivier Theatre at the Royal National

Theatre in London. Over the years, the

Festival has made some amendments

to the original design of Moiseiwitsch’s

stage, without changing its essential

format.

From the balcony of that stage, on the

night of July 13, 1953, actor Alec

Guinness spoke the opening lines of

Richard III: “Now is the winter of our

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At the

end of the

1956 season, the

giant

canvas tent that had housed the

Festival’s first four seasons was

dismantled for the last time

to make

way for a new and permanent facility

to be

erected around the existing

stage. Designed by architect Robert

Fairfield, the new

building would be

one of the most distinctive in the world

of the

performing arts: its circular floor

plan and crenellated roof paying

striking tribute to

the Festival’s origins

under canvas.

In the

years since its first season, the

Stratford Festival has set benchmarks

for the production not only of

Shakespeare, Molière, the ancient

Greeks and other great dramatists of

the past, but also of such 20th-century

masters as Samuel Beckett, Bertolt

Brecht, Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen,

Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee

Williams. In addition to acclaimed

productions of the best in operetta and

musical theatre, it has also

showcased–andd in many cases

premièred– works by outstanding

Canadian and other contemporary

playwrights.

Its artists have included the

finest

actors, directors and designers in

Canada, as well as many from abroad.

Among the internationally renowned

performers who

have graced its stages

are Alan Bates, Brian Bedford, Douglas

Campbell, Len Cariou, Brent Carver,

Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Colm

Feore, Megan Follows, Lorne Greene,

Paul Gross, Uta

Hagen, Julie Harris,

Martha Henry, William Hutt, James

Mason, Eric McCormack, Loreena

McKennitt, Richard Monette, John

Neville, Nicholas Pennell, Christopher

Plummer, Sarah Polley, Douglas Rain,

Katee Reid, Jason Robards, Paul

Scofield, William

Shatner, Maggie

Smith, Jessica Tandy, Peter Ustinov

and Al Waxman.

Drawing audiences of more

than

400,000 each year, the Festival

season now runs from April to

November, with

productions being

presented in four unique theatres. It

offers an extensive program

of

educational and

enrichment activities

for students, teachers and other

patrons, and operates its own in-house

school of professional artist

development: The Birmingham

Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

Stratford Festival Behind the Scenes

App. Contains interactive set models,

exclusive images and slideshows,

special audio and video content and

photos, stories and animations and

insights into the

world of theatre at the

Festival. For more information see

www.stratfordfestival.ca/explore.

For interactive classroom activities

related to the Stratford Festival, go to

the CBC Digital Archives:

http: ://bit.ly/Yy7eK6

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The Playwright:

William Shakespeare

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, a small

Warwickshire town, in 1564, William

Shakespeare was the eldest son of John

Shakespeare, a glover, and Mary Arden,

the daughter of a wealthy farmer. The

exact date of his birth is unknown, but

baptismal records point to it being the

same as that of his death, April 23. He

probably attended what is now the Edward

VI Grammar School, where he

would have studied Latin literature, and

at 18, he married a farmer’s daughter,

Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three

children: Susanna, born in 1583, and,

two years later, the twins Hamnet (who

died in childhood) and Judith.

Nothing further is known of his life until

1592, when his earliest known play, the

first part of Henry VI, became a hit in London,

where Shakespeare was now working

as an actor. Soon afterwards, an outbreak

of the plague forced the temporary

closure of the theatres, and Shakespeare

turned for a while to writing poetry. By

1594, however, he was back in the theatre,

acting with the Lord Chamberlain’s

Men. He quickly established himself as

one of London’s most successful dramatists,

with an income that enabled him, in

1597, to buy a mansion back in Stratford.

In 1599 he became a shareholder

in London’s newly built Globe Theatre.

his death on April 23, 1616. He is buried

in the town’s Holy Trinity Church.

In the first collected edition of his works

in 1623, fellow dramatist Ben Jonson

called him a man “not of an age, but for

all time”. Not only did Shakespeare write

some of the most popular plays of all

time, but he was a very prolific writer,

writing 38 (canonically accepted) works

in 23 years. His work covered many

subjects and styles, including comedies,

tragedies, histories and romances, all

bearing his hallmark expansive plots, extraordinary

language and humanist

themes. Shakespeare enjoyed great popularity

in his lifetime, and 400 years later,

he is still the most produced playwright

in the world.

In 1603, Shakespeare’s company was

awarded a royal patent, becoming known

as the King’s Men. Possibly as early as

1610, the playwright retired to his home

in Stratford-upon-Avon, living there – and

continuing to invest in real estate – until

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A SHAKESPEAREAN TIMELINE

1558 Elizabeth I crowned.

1564 William Shakespeare born.

1572 Actors not under the protection of a patron declared rogues and vagabonds.

1576 “The Theatre”, the first public playhouse in London, opens.

1577 “The Curtain”, London’s second playhouse, opens.

1578 James VI (later James I of England) takes over government of Scotland.

1579 Publication of North’s English translation of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and

Romans.

1580 Francis Drake returns in triumph form his voyage around the world; travelling players perform

at Stratford.

1582 Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway; Susanna is born six months later and the twins

Hamnet and Judith in 1585.

1587 “The Rose” theatre opens in London. Mary Queen of Scots is executed.

1588 Spanish Armada defeated.

1589 Shakespeare finds work as an actor in London; he lives apart from his wife for 21 years.

1590-1591 The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew.

1591 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI.

1592 Thousands die of plague in London; theatres closed. 1 Henry VI, Titus Andronicus, Richard III.

1593 The Comedy of Errors.

1594 Shakespeare becomes a shareholder of his theatre company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

1594 Love’s Labour’s Lost.

1595* Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

1596 Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, dies.

1596-1597 King John, The Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV.

1597-1598 The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2 Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing.

1598 “The Globe” theatre built.

1598-1599 Henry V, Julius Caesar.

1599-1600 As You Like It.

1600-1601 Hamlet, Twelfth Night.

1601 Shakespeare’s patron arrested for treason following the Essex rebellion; he is later pardoned.

1602 Troilus and Cressida.

1603 Queen Elizabeth dies and is succeeded by James I; Shakespeare’s theatre company becomes

the King’s Men.

1603 Measure for Measure, Othello.

1604 Work begins on the King James bible.

1604-1605 All’s Well That Ends Well, Timon of Athens, King Lear (Q)

1606 Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra.

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1607 Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

1608 Coriolanus.

1609 The Winter’s Tale.

1610 King Lear (F), Cymbeline.

1610 Shakespeare retires to Stratford-upon-Avon.

1611 The Tempest.

1611 King James version of the bible published.

1613 Henry VIII (All is True), The Two Noble Kinsmen.

1613 “The Globe” theatre burns down.

1616 Shakespeare dies in Stratford-upon-Avon.

1623 The first folio of Shakespeare’s collected plays is published.

* some dates are approximate

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CAST OF CHARACTERS

Escalus, Prince of Verona

Mercutio, a young gentleman and kinsman to the Prince, friend of Romeo

Paris, a noble young kinsman to the Prince

Page to Paris

The Montagues

Montague, head of a Veronese family at feud with the Capulets

Lady Montague

Romeo, Montague’s son

Benvolio, Montague’s nephew and friend of Romeo and Mercutio

Abram, a servant to Montague

Balthasar, Romeo’s servant

The Capulets

Capulet, head of a Veronese family at feud with the Montagues

Lady Capulet

Juliet, Capulet’s daughter

Tybalt, Lady Capulet’s nephew

Cousin Capulet, an old gentleman

Nurse, a Capulet servant, Juliet’s foster-mother

Peter, a Capulet servant attending on the Nurse

Sampson

Gregory

Anthony

of the Capulet household

Potpan

Other Servingmen

Friar Laurence

Friar John of the Franciscan Order

Apothecary of Mantua

Musicians

Members of the Watch, citizens of Verona, masquers, torchbearers, pages, servants

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PLOT SYNOPSIS

Two families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, are embroiled in a long-standing

feud. One night, Romeo, a Montague, gatecrashes a party being given by the Capulets, in

hopes of encountering Rosaline, with whom he is infatuated. Thoughts of her are driven from

his mind, however, when he catches sight of Juliet, the daughter of Lord Capulet. Juliet, who

has been promised in marriage to Paris, is equally smitten with Romeo, and, with the help of

Friar Lawrence, the two are secretly married. No sooner is the ceremony concluded, however,

than Romeo is drawn in to a brawl, in which he kills Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin. Under sentence of

banishment, Romeo spends the night with Juliet before going into hiding; meanwhile, Capulet

orders Juliet to marry Paris within three days. Friar Lawrence devises a plan: Juliet will take a

potion that will make her appear to be dead, allowing Romeo to steal into her family vault

and rescue her when she revives. But the message informing Romeo of the plan goes astray

and, believing Juliet to be truly dead, he commits suicide over her seemingly lifeless body.

Awakening to find her lover dead beside her, Juliet too kills herself, leaving both families to

mourn their children and abandon their feud.

Check out this fun game and help Romeo rescue Juliet from the balcony

http://www.kokogames.com/free-games/124/featured-games/149/romeo.htm

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The Story of the Play

Sources and Production History

ABOUT THE PLAY

One of the most famous love-stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about an illfated

romance between two young people caught in a bitter feud between their two families.

Shakespeare is believed to have written the play between 1594 and 1595. It was popular

enough in his own time to have spawned a printed, pirated version in 1597, whose title page

proclaims it to be “An excellent conceited tragedy” that had “been often (with great

applause) played publicly.”

SOURCES AND ORIGINS

The story was already well-know by Shakespeare’s time. His direct source was The Tragicall

History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), a long narrative poem by Arthur Brooke, based on a

prose fiction by Bandello (1554), which was itself derived from an earlier Italian story by Luigi

da Porto (1530).

ROMEO AND JULIET IN PERFORMANCE

Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey is one of the

most popular Shakespearean movies ever made. Other versions include George Cukor’s

1936 film starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard.

The famous Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical West Side Story was

based on Romeo and Juliet. The film version of the musical (1961) starred Natalie Wood and

Richard Beymer.

1996’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom,

Moulin Rouge), stars Claire Danes and Leonard DiCaprio as the lovers.

STRATFORD FESTIVAL PRODUCTION HISTORY

This is the ninth production of Romeo and Juliet at the Stratford Festival.

1960 (Festival Theatre): directed by Michael Langham and designed by Tanya Moiseiwitsch.

The cast included Bruno Gerussi as Romeo, Julie Harris as Juliet, William Needles as

Benvolio, Christopher Plummer as Mercutio, Douglas Rain as Tybalt and Kate Reid as Nurse.

1968 (Festival Theatre): directed by Douglas Campbell and designed by Carolyn Parker. The

cast included Christopher Walken as Romeo, Louise Marleau as Juliet, Leo Ciceri as

Mercutio, Amelia Hall as Nurse and Christopher Newton as Paris.

1977 (Avon Theatre): directed by David William and designed by John Ferguson with Richard

Monette as Romeo, Marti Maraden as Juliet, Florence Patterson as Nurse and Nicholas

Pennell as Mercutio.

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1984 (Festival Theatre): directed by Peter Dews and designed by John Ferguson. The cast

included Colm Feore as Romeo, Seana McKenna as Juliet, Lewis Gordon as Friar Laurence,

Elizabeth Leigh-Milne as Nurse, Stephen Russell as Paris and Richard Monette as Mercutio.

1987 (Tom Patterson Theatre): directed by Robin Phillips and designed by Patrick Clark. The

cast included Albert Schultz as Romeo, Susan Coyne as Juliet, Peter Donaldson as Capulet,

and Nancy Palk as Nurse.

1992 (Festival Theatre): directed by Richard Monette and designed by Debra Hanson. The

cast included Antoni Cimolino as Romeo, Megan (Porter) Follows as Juliet, Barbara Bryne as

Nurse, Colm Feore as Mercutio, Lewis Gordon as Capulet, Bernard Hopkins as Friar

Lawrence and Kate Trotter as Lady Capulet.

1997 (Festival Theatre): directed by Diana Leblanc and designed by Douglas Paraschuk (set)

and Dany Lyne (costumes). The cast included Jonathan Crombie as Romeo, Marion Day as

Juliet, Graham Abbey as Paris, Benedict Campbell as Friar Laurence, Diane D’Aquila as

Nurse, Geordie Johnson as Mercutio, and Michael Mawson as Montague.

2002 (Festival Theatre): directed by Miles Potter and designed by Patrick Clark. The cast

included Graham Abbey as Romeo, Claire Jullien as Juliet, Wayne Best as Mercutio, Lally

Cadeau as Nurse, Keith Dinicol as Friar Laurence, Sarah Dodd as Lady Montague, Caleb

Marshall as Benvolio, Raymond O’Neill as Chorus/Escalus, Nicolas van Burek as Tybalt and

Scott Wentworth as Capulet.

2008 (Festival Theatre): directed by Des McAnuff and designed by Heidi Ettinger (set) and

Paul Tazewell (costumes). The cast included Gareth Potter as Romeo, Nikki M. James as

Juliet, Evan Buliung as Mercutio, Peter Donaldson as Friar Lawrence, Gordon S. Miller as

Benvolio, Lucy Peacock as Nurse, John Vickery as Capulet and Sophia Walker as Lady

Capulet.

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THE PRODUCTION

Festival Theatre

May 1 – October 19

Artistic Team

Director. ........................ Tim Carroll

Set Designer ................ Douglas Paraschuk

Costume Designer ....... Carolyn M. Smith

Lighting Designer ......... Kevin Fraser

Composer ..................... Claudio Vena

Sound Designer ........... Jim Neil

Movement .................... Shona Morris

Fight Director ............... John Stead

Cast

Escalus, Prince of Verona ............................................... Michael Blake

Mercutio, friend of Romeo, kinsman to the Prince ....... Jonathan Goad

Paris, a noble young kinsman to the Prince .................. Antoine Yared

Page to Paris. ................................................................... Sara Farb

The Montagues

Montague, head of the family at feud with the Capulets .......... Wayne Best

Lady Montague, his wife .............................................................. Gabrielle Jones

Romeo, Montague’s son .............................................................. Daniel Briere

Benvolio, Montague’s nephew .................................................... Skye Brandon

Abraham, a servant to Montague ................................................ Robert King

Balthasar, Romeo’s servant ........................................................ Andrew Lawrie

The Capulets

Capulet, head of the family at feud with the Montagues ......... Scott Wentworth

Lady Capulet, his wife ................................................................. Nehassaiu deGannes

Juliet, Capulet’s daughter ........................................................... Sara Topham

Tybalt, Lady Capulet’s nephew ................................................... Tyrone Savage

Old Capulet, an old gentleman ................................................... Sam Moses

Nurse, a Capulet servant, Juliet’s nurse .................................... Kate Hennig

Peter, a Capulet servant attending on the Nurse ...................... Mike Nadajewski

Sampson, servant........................................................................ Brad Rudy

Gregory, servant .......................................................................... Victor Ertmanis

Friar Laurence .............................................................................. Tom McCamus

Friar John ..................................................................................... Roy Lewis

Musicians

Apothecary, Citizens, Lords, Ladies: Jacquelyn French, Barbara Fulton, Valerie Hawkins,

André Morin, Andrew Robinson, Sabryn Rock

For more information and company bios visit: www.stratfordfestival.ca. You can also check

out our Stratford for Students magazine at:

http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/education/teachers.aspx?id=8609

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Imaginative Ways to Approach the Text

JULIET’S TROUBLED IMAGINATIONS

Grade Level Grades 6-12

Subject Areas Language Arts, English, Drama

Ontario

Curriculum

Expectations

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

Extend understanding of the text by connecting the ideas in them to

their own knowledge, experience, insights and world around them.

&

Analyse the text, focusing on the ways in which they communicate

Learning

information and ideas and influence the listener’s/viewer’s

Outcomes

response.

Use role play and characterization to explore issues in the play.

Further develop the following:

Speaking to Communicate

Listening to Understand

Reading for Meaning

Drama: Creation

Time Needed One class period

Space

Open space in the classroom

Materials Handout

Setting Up the Exercise:

In this lesson, the students take a closer look at Juliet’s soliloquy in Act IV, scene 3.

Review as a class what a soliloquy is and the reasons why Shakespeare employed

this device in his plays.

The Exercise:

Hand out the one-page worksheet with Juliet’s speech already divided into nine

sections.

Choose nine people or divide the class into nine sections, each group responsible for

a particular “troubled imagination.”

Each group will devise a way to interpret and present their lines. They may do it as a

choral piece or have one person saying the lines while the rest of the group forms a

tableau to illustrate that particular troubled imagination.

The rehearsal process will be two-tiered. At the beginning, each group will be given

some time to rehearse their section. After that, have the students come together and

inform student or group #1 that they will be up first and will present their section in

the centre and are to remain there after they have completed their turn. The other

students or groups will take their cues and position themselves in and around the

circle according to what the last student or group has done and where they have

positioned themselves in the circle.

During the class presentation, have all nine students or groups stand in an open

space in the classroom in a large circle. Have student or group #1 go to the centre

and begin their piece using movement and/or incorporating choral speaking and

finally becoming frozen sculptures at the end, followed by students or groups #2 – 9

interweaving their interpretation of the text around student or group #1. (OPTIONAL:

Have the students choose a piece of music to underscore the performance to help

set the mood.)

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For discussion:

After the presentation, have the class discuss the questions listed below.

o What did you discover after physically representing Juliet’s troubled

imaginations?

o Do you think Juliet’s troubled imaginations were real and she was right to be

afraid? If so why or why not?

o In performing Juliet’s dark fears, did you learn something new about her and

her circumstances?

Extensions:

Write a letter in response to Juliet’s dark fears and offer some helpful suggestions to

lessen her fear and comfort her.

Draw, paint or create a collage of one of the dark fears that Juliet mentions. Write a

caption to go with your visual presentation.

Stage the soliloquy with one student playing Juliet and voicing section #1 while the

rest (#2-9) voice her fears as ghosts haunting her troubled mind.

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Romeo and Juliet - Act IV, scene 3

Juliet’s Troubled Imaginations

1. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,

That almost freezes up the heat of life:

I'll call them back again to comfort me:

Nurse! What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.

Come, vial.______________________________

2. What if this mixture do not work at all?

Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?

No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there.

3. What if it be a poison, which the Friar

Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonoured,

Because he married me before to Romeo?

I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,

For he hath still been tried a holy man.

4. How if, when I am laid into the tomb,

I wake before the time that Romeo

Come to redeem me? There's a fearful point!

Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault,

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?

5. Or, if I live, is it not very like,

The horrible conceit of death and night,

Together with the terror of the place,--

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,

Where, for these many hundred years, the bones

Of all my buried ancestors are packed:

6. Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,

Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,

At some hours in the night spirits resort;--

7. Alack, alack, is it not like that I,

So early waking, what with loathsome smells,

And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth,

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad:--

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,

Environed with all these hideous fears?

8. And madly play with my forefather's joints?

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?

And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,

As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?

9. O, look! methinks I see my cousin's ghost

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body

Upon a rapier's point: stay, Tybalt, stay!

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

Laying down her dagger

She falls upon her bed, within the curtains

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Imaginative Ways to Approach the Text

PARIS’S SOLILOQUY

Grade Level Grades 7-12

Subject Areas Language Arts, English, Drama

Ontario

Curriculum

Expectations

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

Develop and explain interpretations of the text, using evidence from the

text.

&

Make and explain inferences, supporting their explanations with stated

Learning

and implied ideas from the text.

Outcomes Use role play and characterization to explore issues in the play.

Further develop the following:

Speaking to Communicate

Listening to Understand

Reading for Meaning

Drama: Creation

Time Needed Two class periods

Space

Open space in the classroom upon presentation

Materials Pencil/pen and notebook

Romeo and Juliet script

Setting Up the Exercise:

In this lesson, the students will have the opportunity to create/write a soliloquy, using

knowledge they have gained from either reading or seeing the production of Romeo

and Juliet at the Stratford Festival.

Review as a class what a soliloquy is and the reasons why Shakespeare employed

this device in his plays.

The Exercise:

Review Act III, scene 4 and as a class, discuss the following: Paris has a very high

status in Verona as he is related to Prince Escalus. The Capulets’ social standing,

already significant, would be even more elevated if Juliet marries Paris. We know

then that the Capulets would gain from this marriage, but what are Paris’s

reasons/motives for this hasty marriage?

Write a soliloquy for Paris, spoken upon his departure from the Capulets after having

asked them for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Give reasons in this soliloquy why he wants

to marry Juliet and soon.

Have each student read or dramatically present their soliloquies to the class.

Drama Extensions:

Have students perform Act III, scene 4 and include their soliloquies.

For Discussion:

Why do you think Shakespeare did not give us a soliloquy or some form of further

explanation as to Paris’s motives?

Would you prefer that Paris had stated his motives in the play? Explain in detail and

state why or why not.

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Would you place your soliloquy at the beginning of Act III, scene 4 or at the end?

Does it make a difference where it is placed? Note: The students may want to

experiment with the placement of the soliloquy during their performance

presentations.

As you heard/saw each classmate’s soliloquy, were there common points or

divergent points of view? Did some of the reasons given for wanting to marry Juliet

surprise you, make you look at Paris in a more sympathetic light or less

sympathetically?

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Imaginative Ways to Approach the Text

THE R & J DEBATES

Grade Level Grades 7-12

Subject Areas Language Arts, English, Drama

Ontario

Curriculum

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

Identify and explain the important information and ideas of the text.

Expectations Use a variety of drama conventions to establish a distinctive context or

&

role.

Learning Analyse drama works to determine how they communicate ideas about

Outcomes

issues, culture and society.

Further develop the following:

Speaking to Communicate

Listening to Understand

Reading for Meaning

Drama: Creation

Time Needed Two class periods

Space

Open space in the classroom upon presentation

Materials Pencil/pen and notebook

Romeo and Juliet script

Setting Up the Exercise:

In this lesson, the students will have the opportunity to debate on a variety of

controversial issues surrounding The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet after reading

and/or seeing the Stratford Festival production.

Some of the topics that the class may choose from are listed below (or they may

choose to come up with their own) [Note: Some of these are specific in nature and

others are general.] :

o A daughter must honour the wishes of her father at all times.

o Juliet should marry Paris.

o Banishment is preferable to death.

o Mercutio is the superior swordsman to Tybalt.

o Romeo and Juliet’s love was merely an infatuation.

o Mercutio and the Nurse were unnecessary characters in the play.

o Both Romeo and Juliet were too immature to get married.

o The deaths of Romeo and Juliet were necessary to bring about the

reconciliation between the Capulets and the Montagues.

o Friar Laurence’s well-meaning interference caused more harm than good.

The Exercise:

For each topic, choose two teams: one team will be “for” the argument, and the other

team will be “against” the argument put forth.

As a class, decide on the length of each debate and number of rounds. For the rest of

the class not involved in that particular debate, have them create a score card that

rates each round for each team (e.g. from 1 to 5 with 1 being “weak argument” and

5 being “exceptionally clear argument,” followed by one sentence stating the reasons

for that score).

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Each team will be responsible for creating an opening statement and supporting

arguments, using evidence found in the text or production you have seen.

Present each debate, with the rest of the class listening and filling out their score

cards. Make sure to give sufficient time for the teams to confer before presenting

their rebuttals. NOTE: The students may wish to debate as a character from the play

or as themselves addressing the particular issues.

For Discussion:

After viewing/listening to the debates, have the class discuss questions listed below.

o Were all of the arguments put forth, supported by the evidence from the text?

o Do we get a sense of what is relevant to the plot by debating some of these

issues?

o What insights have you gained through these debates?

o By looking at the pros and cons of various issues, what does this reveal about

the characters?

o If you were to stage a production of Romeo and Juliet what issues would you

emphasize and highlight over others?

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Discussion Topics for Your

Class

For classes reading the play before seeing it:

1. What do you expect to see on stage at the Stratford Festival? Have each student

make a list of predictions about what they expect. Save these predictions. After your

Stratford trip, revisit them to see how they compared to the actual production.

2. Have your students make a story map or a story board outlining the main events of

the play. (This may be used later in group activities.)

After your Stratford trip:

1. Romeo and Juliet has appealed to artists and audiences around the world for 400

years. What do you think the play’s message is?

2. What parts did you respond to most?

3. Were there parts you wished were different? How?

4. Have your students create a character web showing how all the characters are

connected to each other. Discuss the complexity of these relationships and how they

affect the progression of the play.

For more classroom activities, complete with instructions, materials and Ontario

curriculum expectation links, visit stratfordfestival.ca/teachingmaterials.

You can also check out the following:

The Forum, a series of remarkable events to enrich the play-going experience:

www.stratfordfestival.ca/forum/ .

Stratford Festival’s YouTube channel for behind-the-scenes videos, photos

and interviews: www.youtube.com/user/stratfordfestival

Stratford Festival’s Flickr pages: www.flickr.com/photos/stratfest/

Stratford Festival Twitter: twitter.com/stratfest

Stratford Festival Facebook: www.facebook.com/StratfordFestival

Stratford Festival Behind the Scenes App.: www.stratfordfestival.ca/explore.

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Resources

SHAKESPEARE: HISTORY, CRITICISM and BIOGRAPHY

Beckerman, Bernard. Shakespeare and the Globe, 1599-1609. 1962.

Bentley, G.E. Shakespeare: A Biographical Handbook. 1951.

Boyce, Charles. Shakespeare A to Z. 1990.

Brown, Ivor. Shakespeare and the Actors. 1970.

Brown, John Russell. Shakespeare and his Theatre. 1993.

Burgess, Anthony. Shakespeare. 1970.

Campbell, Oscar James, ed. The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare. 1966.

Dobson, Michael, ed. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. 2001.

Epstein, Norrie. The Friendly Shakespeare. 1992.

Frye, R. M. Shakespeare’s Life and Times: a Pictorial Record. 1968.

Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642. 1980.

Hodges, C. Walter. Shakespeare and the Players. 1948.

Muir, Kenneth and Samuel Schoenbaum, eds. A New Companion to Shakespeare

Studies, 1985.

Nagler, A. M. Shakespeare’s Stage. 1985.

Schoenbaum, Samuel. William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life. 1975.

Taylor, Gary. Reinventing Shakespeare. 1989.

Thomson, Peter. Shakespeare’s Theatre. 1983.

Tillyard, E. M. W. The Elizabethan World Picture. 1943.

Wells, Stanley, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. 1986.

TEACHING SHAKESPEARE

Asimov, Isaac. Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare. New York, 1970.

Edens, Walter, et al. Teaching Shakespeare. New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1977.

Gibson, Rex. Secondary School Shakespeare. Cambridge: 1990.

Gibson, Rex. Stepping into Shakespeare. Cambridge: 2000.

Gibson, Rex and Field-Pickering, Janet. Discovering Shakespeare’s Language.

Cambridge: 1998.

O’Brien, Veronica. Teaching Shakespeare. London, 1982.

ROMEO AND JULIET

Garfield, Leon. Shakespeare Stories. Puffin Books: 1985.

Gibson, Rex. Teaching Shakespeare. 1998.

Gibson, Rex & Field-Pickering, Janet. Discovering Shakespeare’s Language.

Cambridge: 1998.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet, Arden (Third Series). 2012.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Cambridge School, 2nd Ed. 2007.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Oxford University Press, 1994.

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Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. The Royal Shakespeare Company (The

Modern Library). 2009.

ONLINE RESOURCES

BookRags.com Homepage, http://www.bookrags.com

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet, shakespeare.palomar.edu

Sh:in:E Shakespeare in Europe, www.unibas.ch/shine

Encyclopaedia Britannica presents: Shakespeare and the Globe: Then and Now,

search.eb.com/Shakespeare

MIT Shakespeare Homepage: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, thetech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/

Shakespeare’s Life and Times,

web.uvic.ca/shakespeare/Library/SLT/intro/introsubj.html

Shakespeare Online, www.shakespeare-online.com

Movie Review Query Engine, www.mrqe.com

Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com

ROMEO AND JULIET ON FILM, VIDEO AND DVD

1968 (UK): Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli; starring Leonard

Whiting and Olivia Hussey.

1978 (UK-TV): Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Alvin Rakoff; starring Patrick

Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, John Gielgud and Alan Rickman.

1993 (CDA): Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Richard Monette; starring Antoni

Cimolino, Megan Follows and Colm Feore. [The Stratford Festival’s

production on film.]

1994 (documentary film / PBS, CBC, NFB, WDR): Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo.

Directed by John Zaritsky. The tragic story of real-life lovers BoŠko Brkič

and Admira Ismić, who died in Sarajevo during the civil war in Yugoslavia.

1996 (USA): Romeo + Juliet. Directed by Baz Luhrmann; starring Leonardo

DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

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