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Romeo and Juliet Coursework Assignment: Choose one scene and show how you would design and direct it in order to create a particular interpretation of the script.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Coursework Assignment: Choose one scene and show how you would design and direct it in order to create a particular interpretation of the script. A director's role in producing a play is much more than telling the actors where to stand or what to say. It is to enable the actors to make a particular interpretation of the text clear to the audience. To do this a director has a number of dramatic tools at his or her disposal, such as the actors' body language, facial expressions, the position of actors in relation to each other, the way they actually deliver the lines. All of these convey emotions and meanings beyond the words on the page. They bring the words on the page alive to the audience. Similarly, a director can use set design, lighting and costume to signify a range of ideas and emotions which lie beneath the written language. I have chosen to direct Act 3 Scene 1 as this is arguably the most important scene in the play. In this scene we lose two major characters, when Tybalt slays Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt. We also become aware of the contrast between light and dark as the mood of the plays shifts to become much more serious and brooding. ...read more.

Middle

Couple it with something, make it a word and a blow'' He'll be speaking in a very flippant voice, patronising Tybalt and deliberately trying to antagonise him, like the scene in 'Taxi Driver' when Robert de Niro repeatedly says to his reflection 'You talking to me?' This will show the audience that Mercutio is trying to encourage a fight and will make him appear slightly more like Tybalt in the sense that he likes to stir things up. Right at the beginning of the scene when Benvolio is warning him that they should leave, Mercutio teases him, '...thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes...'' He should say this quite quickly but in a light hearted manner, to let the audience know that it is simply friendly teasing and not serious. I would want the actor to draw attention to the pun on 'nuts' by adopting a knowing facial expression. The proxemics of a performance, in other words the positioning and movement of the actors on the stage, can show how an actor is feeling, particularly his or her attitude towards another character. It can also reveal how people can do things at a sub-conscious level. As I have said earlier I want the audience to see Tybalt staying very close to his peers when he is talking to Mercutio. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, when Tybalt is confronting Romeo I want the light to slowly get darker in order to change the mood. When Mercutio is killed the light will suddenly change to blood red, to signify death and passion. In Shakespearian times, frequently, when a character was killed they would stagger off stage to die, however in order to emphasise the horrific nature of the murder I want the audience to see Mercutio die, just before the light is totally eclipsed. There are many elements in the play which still speak to a modern audience. The war between two rich Italian families is a reflection of present day family wars with the Italian Mafia; both are driven by honour and love of their family name. In addition, the play reflects other oppositions: black versus white, Palestinian versus Israeli, Protestant versus Catholic. The theme of young love is both timeless and universal, appealing to audiences across the world, as can be seen by the popularity of the Baz Lurhman film and the fact that the play continues to be performed three hundred years after it was written. This essay explores my interpretation of this scene. If I was a director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, I might direct 'Romeo and Juliet' half a dozen times during my career. The fact that the play stands up to so many possible subtle interpretations confirms the greatness of Shakespeare's writing and the creative ingenuity of stage direction. ...read more.

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