My daughter, I may have mentioned, is in middle school. At the beginning of the school year my wife copied down all the relevant events from the school calendar to our personal calendar. I noticed that next weekend it says, “Fall play : Shakespeare.”
What’s this now?
I hit the school web site for details. I’ve mentioned in the past that my town has an excellent Shakespeare program at the high school, and is part of an invitation-only festival in Lennox, Mass every year. So if they say they’re doing Shakespeare I’m not going to miss it. But alas, this is the middle school not the high school and all the calendar still says is, “Fall Play : Shakespeare”.
I tackle my daughter the next morning. “Ummm, hello? Fall play Shakespeare? Why do I not know about this?”
“I told you about it,” she says. Liar!
“Pretty sure you didn’t,” I say.
“Romeo and Juliet? Remember?”
Then I remember. Back at the beginning of the year she told me that the eighth graders are doing something called “Romeo and Juliet Together and Alive At Last”.
“Ohhhhh!” I say, “That’s annoying. That’s not Shakespeare.”
So as not to miss out on any Shakespeare, however, I go googling for it. Turns out that Bardfilm beat me to it, and reviewed the story (the novel version, at least) on his blog.
I did get to read some of the script, and I agree with his assessment – the characters are eighth graders dealing with eighth grade issues, but they talk like second graders. I don’t plan on going to see the play. I hope that this is not “Shakespeare prep” for the kids before they get to high school.