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Shakespeare From Page to Stage to Page: Feedback

 

Student Feedback for the module in 2006-07:



‘This module has allowed me to get to grips with the texts on the page and on the stage, and I have come to the realisation that my previous lack of appreciation for Shakespeare stemmed from the lack of on-stage encounters I had had with his work, only ever really having studied the texts in English classes, thinking very little about the implications of the texts in performance. This module, as the title suggests, has brought me into contact with Shakespeare on several necessary levels: reading and thinking about his original texts; reading and analysing several famous adaptations of his works, such as Bond’s Lear and Marowitz’s Hamlet; seeing the language brought to life on-stage at the RSC; critically analysing these performances; and, finally, taking apart and putting back together our own version of King Lear.’

 

‘This module has shown me that there is an infinite world of possibilities for the production and adaptation of Shakespeare’s works. Over the module I have developed a less cautious attitude towards the ‘sanctity’ of Shakespeare: I now feel far more comfortable cutting, re-ordering and rewriting. […] Previous to taking the module I disliked the idea of adaptors being too ‘free’ with Shakespeare. Now I see his body of work more as an opportunity to express ourselves and our period, than a sacred body of works which should never be altered.’

 

‘The concept of ‘page to stage’ was explored amazingly well in the coursework.’

 

The ‘stage to page’ part has been a revelation to me’

 

‘I have really enjoyed this new module. The content of the module has been fascinating and top quality […] Overall, it’s a great course which I hope will carry on for many years.’

 

‘Easily the best thing about the module has been the number of plays I have seen.’

 

‘Shakespeare from Page to Stage to Page has a unique approach to studying Shakespeare, focussing almost entirely on theatrical representations of the text.’

 

‘The most effective resource for helping to improve this mode of writing [reviewing] came from viewing the work of others in the class.’

 

‘In this adaptation we had a lot of freedom; although other members of the group had some expectations, we did not have to answer to an overall designer or director. This was the most enjoyable part of the course; we were allowed to run away with our own creative ideas.’

 

‘This module has also alerted me to my desire to begin a collaborative effort soon with close friends who share my love for theatre and to whom I am close enough to feel comfortable working with and sharing ideas.’

 

‘Previously I had a very narrow and limited experience of Shakespeare, having not studied it since school and only having been to see a few productions. So this module has opened Shakespeare up to me, giving me the opportunity to play, explore and experience him from different angles.



(Mature student): ‘The opportunity to work with such extraordinary young people, experience their enthusiasm, energy and creativity in theatre is something I shall never forget […] It has improved my ability to tolerate opinions other than my own and opened up a creative, or perhaps experimental, thought-capability that I did not know existed.’

 

‘The more reviews I read (which I did voraciously in an attempt to try and assimilate others’ styles), the more I discovered the process of talking about theatre was as varied as the productions discussed and that, furthermore, critical writing could be considered an art form in itself.’

 

‘This module has been the most informative and useful of my degree so far. I began it with the hope that I might meet some new people and try something a little different but, as a result, I have found a new passion.[…] I now know that theatre is something I wish to be involved in at a professional level. What that role may be I do not yet know, but to have been plucked from apathetic uncertainty and to have been given both drive and direction is an amazing feeling.’

 

'It was a fantastic learning aid to study others’ reviews, both professional examples fro a wide variety of publications and our own from within the group.’

 

‘It is not only through compilation of The Divide that I have started to think about Shakespeare in a new light; reviewing has also changed my attitude to Shakespeare and the theatre.’



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As a third year student I have become very protective with my degree, working on my own to reach my individual goals. From Page to Stage to Page has allowed me to adapt my way of learning to incorporate others who also want to reach the same outcome.

 

‘The atmosphere in the module for learning was very different from most of the teaching I have received over my degree. We were encouraged to share knowledge with the rest of the group, rather than be competitive and keep back knowledge that might be advantageous to us. […] Learning was also characterised as on-going development rather than something simply focussed on essay production or exam performance.’

 

‘This module has been an incredibly enjoyable one; one which has taught me practical skills which will be useful in the future, such as working within a team and analysing theatrical productions, and which has shown me some of the practical issues surrounding the adaptation and production of Shakespeare’s plays through innovative teaching methods.’