TWO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, ONE FIERYFOOTED HOUR STUDY ROMEO & JULIET GUIDE

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1 RJ & ROMEO & JULIET TWO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, ONE FIERYFOOTED HOUR STUDY GUIDE

2 CONTENTS From ETC's Education Team Preparing for Live Theatre Theatre Etiquette The Life of William Shakespeare (Abridged...) Possible Sources for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet ETC's R&J - From the Director ETC's R&J - Characters For the Classroom - Analysis & Reflection Questions Resources for You (And Us Too!) Printable Version For Students (With Worksheet)

3 FROM ETC S EDUCATION TEAM 3 Greetings from the EclecticPond Theatre Company Education Team! We are so pleased to have your students see ETC's R&J (our 60 minute version of Romeo and Juliet) that we've spent some time putting a few materials together to help you prepare. In this study guide, you ll find all kinds of useful information, from the basics about this production in particular, to a short biography of Mr. Shakespeare and tips on how to behave when you go see a live performance of any show. We hope that this guide not only proves useful in your study of one of the most famous plays ever written, but that it also encourages you and your students to delve more deeply into all of the works written by the man that is, arguably, the greatest author to have ever lived. As a company, ETC is committed to bringing imaginative and accessible versions of classic and modern texts to schools and communities as a way to encourage students to continue to explore the world of theatre and to foster a life-long love and appetite for the arts. We strive to keep these classic texts relevant today, and audiences can expect to see a fresh take on stories that are tried-and-true, without sacrificing the language and integrity of the original work. If you have any questions at all about any aspect of this study guide or about the show, please don t hesitate to contact our Education Coordinator, Meagan G. Matlock, at We hope that you and your students enjoy our performance of R&J just as much as we enjoy performing it, and we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the work that our company does! Best regards- Meagan G. Matlock Education Coordinator Kate Homan Associate Managing Director Education Associate

4 PREPARING FOR LIVE THEATRE 4 Tickets are booked. Now what? Prepare your students to see a live Shakespearean play! WHAT'S THIS ABOUT AGAIN? Go over the story. Don't worry about giving away the ending. Shakespeare did that in the prologue before we ever met Romeo & Juliet. Introduce the characters and the basic plot. This can help ears feel free to enjoy the language instead of feeling bogged down by the unfamiliar verse. SPEAKING OF LANGUAGE... Share some of your favorite lines from this play. Which of the many words that Shakespeare invented are the favorites of your students? Which ones do they use everyday? Finding some landmarks and road maps in the text can get your audience excited and more comfortable with the performance they're about to see. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "IT'S A PLAY?" Discuss with your class what the difference is between a live performance and a movie. How is seeing Shakespeare's plays performed different from reading them? Acting, costumes, the set, lights, sound. There's going to be a lot to see and hear!

5 THEATRE ETIQUETTE PT1 5 Live theatre wouldn't be live without you! Be sure to know how to play your role as... THE AUDIENCE Imagine you're watching your favorite movie when you can hear someone talking straight through your favorite part. Or a phone rings. Or another phone lights up when someone starts texting. Not cool, right? Now imagine that the stars of that movie can see and hear all of those things too! Everyone participates in live theatre, and there are some easy things that you can do to make the show even better and more fun for yourself, the actors, and your fellow audience members! BUT SOFT, WHAT LIGHT THROUGH YONDER AUDIENCE BREAKS? Cell phones, cameras, mp3 players, your teacher's Christmas tree necktie... Just about everything these days has a light on it somewhere. Sitting in a dark room, even the smallest bright screen can be distracting for just about everyone. Have something with a light on it? Be sure to turn it off before the show starts. IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE, LEAVE IT AT HOME Know what sticks out as much as a lit screen in a dark room? A cell phone ringtone. Have something (anything!) that makes noise of any kind? Play it safe; leave it at home. Know what sticks out as much as a cell phone ringtone? A whisper. Crazy, huh? But it's true. Good luck trying to leave your voice at home, so remember that even your whisper can be heard by more than just your neighbor.

6 THEATRE ETIQUETTE PT2 6 TO BE SEATED, OR NOT TO BE SEATED, THERE REALLY IS NO QUESTION You don't want to miss any of the action! Once the show starts (the house lights will tell you that's about to happen by dimming or going out), you want to be glued to your seat. That way you can catch all of the exciting stuff, stay safe, and generally have an all-around good time. (Pssssst! Here's a hint to make it easier: use the restroom before the show. Trust us on this one.) FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN, LEND ME A HAND We'll let you in on a little secret: Here in the audience, we mind our manners in code. No, really, and it's easy. Anytime you want to say "thanks" or "hey, I liked that!" all you have to do is clap. So, at the end of a show, when all the actors take a bow (which, by the way, is actor-code for saying "thanks") take a moment and show that you're in-the-know with some applause. TO BE SEATED, OR NOT TO BE SEATED, THERE REALLY IS NO QUESTION You don't want to miss any of the action! Once the show starts (the house lights will tell you that's about to happen by dimming or going out), you want to be glued to your seat. That way you can catch all of the exciting stuff, stay safe, and generally have an all-around good time. (Pssssst! Here's a hint to make it easier: use the restroom before the show. Trust us on this one.) FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN, LEND ME A HAND We'll let you in on a little secret: Here in the audience, we mind our manners in code. No, really, and it's easy. Anytime you want to say "thanks" or "hey, I liked that!" all you have to do is clap. So, at the end of a show, when all the actors take a bow (which, by the way, is actor-code for saying "thanks") take a moment and show that you're in-the-know with some applause.

7 THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) 7 Although he is regarded by many to be the greatest author to ever have lived, there is much that we don t know about the life of William Shakespeare. Besides, reading a long, drawn out biography isn t something that many people consider much fun anyway (if you do, never fear so do we!) But, to spare the rest of you that tedium, we have provided some of the so-called highlights of the life of The Bard. Happy learning! Birth Well, that is an interesting way to start, and just goes to show we don t really know all that much. There are no records of the exact date of his birth, though many scholars place it on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon in England. What we do know is that Shakespeare was baptized on April 26th of that same year in that same place, so the 23rd is a logical guess. Parents and Siblings John Shakespeare, a glover (aka a glove-maker) and Mary Arden, a landed heiress (landed meaning she owned land). We only know of five of their children that survived to adulthood; William was child number 3. Schooling Young William would have attended what was known as a free school, or a grammar school. These schools focused on Classical Latin and Greek, as well as the art of rhetoric, or the effective use of language. Shakespeare, use language effectively? Shocking, we know. Marriage and Children Anne Hathaway on November 26, Anne was 26, William was 18. They had three children: Susanna, and twins Judith and Hamnet. The girls survived to adulthood, Hamnet died at the age of 11.

8 THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) 8 The Lost Years Following the birth of his children, Shakespeare disappears from all records for a full seven years. When he does turn up again, it s in London and he has established himself as an actor and writer. So, what happened during those seven years, you ask? See, that s the thing about the word Lost. They are just that lost. Gone. Vanished (not to be confused with Thou art Banishéd! although he may have been...). We simply don t know. There has been a lot of speculation and debate, but in the end, there is no proof of anything but that he somehow wound up in London. The Lord Chamberlin s Men As previously mentioned, by 1594 Shakespeare was a writer, actor, and managing partner with the highly popular group known as The Lord Chamberlin s Men. This group became known as The King s Men when James I took the throne in They performed at The Globe, and would become the most successful theatre company of the day. Shakespeare even had some of his plays published and sold as penny-copies to those members of his audiences that were literate. This was a first for playwrights of his time. Retirement and Death Shakespeare retired from the world of theatre and London in 1611, and returned to his birthplace to live out his final days in comfort and peace. It was there that he died at age 52 on April 23rd, 1616, and interred at Holy Trinity on April 25, 1616.

9 POSSIBLE SOURCES FOR SHAKESPEARE S ROMEO & JULIET 9 The incomparable Master Shakespeare did not hesitate to borrow the plots of his plays from other sources, and turn them in to something just a little more special and memorable. Romeo and Juliet is no exception. How many of you have heard of Novelle by Matteo Bandello, or of the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, taken from Ovid s Metamorphoses? Not many, we d wager. The story of the star-crossed lovers as we know it today stems from Shakespeare s version of it, but audiences of his day would also have been familiar with the tale from multiple other sources. Here is a brief list of some of the works that gave him the idea for the plot that is now one of the most famous in the world: Metamorphoses by Ovid, 5 AD In Ovid s collection of myths and legends resides the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, two young lovers that meet by night though a hole in the wall that separates their families properties. The lovers decide to meet in secret, but fate intervenes when Thisbe is the first to arrive. She is chased off by a lioness, and in her haste drops her veil. Pyramus sees the veil and assumes Thisbe has been killed, so he in turn kills himself. Thisbe then returns to find Pyramus dead, and uses his sword to end her own life. If the names in this tale sound a little familiar, it is because it appears again as the play within a play in A Midsummer Night s Dream, written around the same time as Romeo and Juliet. Ephesiaca by Xenophon, 500 AD It is in this Greek tale that the use of a sleeping potion to feign death is first mentioned. A woman that is separated from her husband takes one to avoid having to marry another man. Il Novellino by Masuccio Salernitano, 1476 This story about Mariotto and Gianozza contains all of the high drama of Shakespeare s version but with pirates! They meet, fall in love, are secretly married, Mariotto is banished for killing an important citizen, and Gianozza takes the sleeping potion to avoid marrying another. During her sleep, a

10 POSSIBLE SOURCES FOR SHAKESPEARE S ROMEO & JULIET 10 messenger is dispatched to tell Mariotto what has transpired, but he is captured by pirates during his journey. Gianozza awakes, and leaves to meet with Mariotto. Somehow they miss each other, and when Martiotto returns to their hometown, he is caught and executed. Gianozza lives out the rest of her days in a convent. Historia Novellamenta Ritrovata di due Novili Amanti by Luigi Da Porto, 1530 Da Porto is the one to set the story in Verona and with two actual historical families at the forefront, the Cappelletti and the Montecchi. Novelle by Matteo Bandello, 1554 Bandello changes the protagonists names to Julietta and Romeo, and this tale has a happy ending. They both end up alive in the tomb, and their families accept their marriage. Histories Tragiques by Pierre Boiastuau, 1559 This is the French adaptation of Bandello s work, with the tragic ending restored, and the lovers names changed to Romeo and Juliet. The Tragedie of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke, 1562 Brooke s version is the one considered by many to be the primary source for Shakespeare s work, though Brooke s tale is lacking in the romance and pizzazz that Shakespeare had a certain flair for. Shakespeare took Brooke s moralistic and dry poem, and added his signature language and depth of character. The play takes place over a shorter time (a handful of days instead of the 9 months Brooke uses) and makes Juliet several years younger.

11 ETC S R&J FROM THE DIRECTOR 11 Shakespeare?! Do we have to read a play written centuries ago again? Almost everyone will no doubt be required to read a Shakespearean play or poem over the course of their education. For many, Romeo and Juliet is a standard selection read only because the school s curriculum requires it. Sadly, one look at a page using thee or thou and students often immediately shut down, assuming the play has no relevance to their lives. Then why continue to teach or perform it? The script of a play is a guide book, to the world that [we] create with the audience. Because these plays are relevant and relate-able: Great drama has the ability to address daily concerns while also portraying the extremes of human emotion, truthfully. It is adapted by and for each generation, providing the opportunity to reveal more about how human beings interact and influence one another not to mention the power to entertain us. Having said that, how can anyone be expected to unlock the full potential of great drama, through reading the script alone? The script of a play is after all an instruction manual, or a guide book, to the world that the playwright, director, cast and crew create with the audience. With our productions we hope to bring these texts to life for first-time readers and longtime fans alike. To make our show easily accessible, we cut the text to the core story and gave it the fast pace needed to grasp and retain an audience. To follow in the tradition of early touring companies, our set is modest and

12 ETC S R&J FROM THE DIRECTOR 12 simply constructed. By doing this, we, like our thespian ancestors, are able to create entire worlds, relying on the power of the words and the skill of our actors to transport you, our audience. We are truly blessed to have this incredible cast and crew to work and play with for this production. Everyone brings not only their skill and experience but also an impeccable work ethic and tireless commitment to the ensemble we have created. R&J becomes the first in our repertoire of touring plays aimed at bringing classical texts to new audiences: The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, Is now the one hours' traffic of our stage - Thomas Cardwell

13 ETC S R&J CHARACTERS 13 THE MONTAGUES Montague - head of the family Benvolio - Romeo's cousin and friend Romeo - only child of Montague Mercutio - member of the Prince's family, friend of the Montagues THE CAPULETS Capulet - head of the family Lady Capulet - wife of Capulet and mother of Juliet Juliet - only child of the Capulets Tybalt - Juliet's cousin Nurse - Juliet's primary caregiver Paris - member of the Prince's family, friend to the Capulets THE AUTHORITIES Escalus - Prince of Verona, neutral in the feud Friar Lawrence - a Franciscan friar, friend to both families AND THE... Apothecary - a poverty-stricken seller of medicine in Mantua

14 FOR THE CLASSROOM ANALYSIS & REFLECTION QUESTIONS 14 The prologue to Romeo & Juliet gives a very concise synopsis of what is about to happen in the rest of the play and even gives away the ending! Why would Shakespeare have written it this way? Which characters seem to believe in fate? How does that belief change their actions? Different characters act out of different emotions. What emotions from each of the following characters make them do what they do? How can you tell? Tybalt (wanting to fight Romeo) Mercutio (wanting to fight Tybalt) Capulet (forcing Juliet to marry Paris) Nurse (helping Juliet to marry Romeo) What difference does the setting of the play make? Where would you set this play? Why? In this production, some actors play multiple roles. How can you tell the difference between the characters that a single actor might play?

15 RESOURCES FOR YOU (AND US TOO!) 15 NEED A COPY OF THE PLAY TEXT? Folio text First Quarto (1603), Second Quarto (1604), First Folio (1623) NEED INFORMATION ABOUT SHAKESPEARE OR ROMEO & JULIET? National Endowment for the Humanities: EDSITEment! Shakespeare Online Shakespeare Resource Center Towson University Students page on Romeo & Juliet NEED INFORMATION ABOUT RENAISSANCE/ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND? Modern History Sourcebook: Holinshed s Chronicles of England 1577.

16 RESOURCES FOR YOU (AND US TOO!) 16 NEED INFORMATION ABOUT ARTS EDUCATION? Educational Theatre Association The Kennedy Center: ARTSEDGE National Endowment for the Arts

17 PRINT-READY HANDOUTS 17 Aren't online resources great? So convenient! So pretty! But sometimes they forget their manners and don't get along with printers. Or become very demanding about paper quality. And needy with ink supplies. Just for you (and your printer) we've made a handy condensed version of our R&J study guide that you can easily print/copy and give to your students. These six pages include: Theatre Etiquette The Life of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Possible Sources for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet ETC's R&J Characters R&J Worksheet Happy printing!

18 THEATRE ETIQUETTE THE AUDIENCE Imagine you're watching your favorite movie when you can hear someone talking straight through your favorite part. Or a phone rings. Or another phone lights up when someone starts texting. Not cool, right? Now imagine that the stars of that movie can see and hear all of those things too! Everyone participates in live theatre, and there are some easy things that you can do to make the show even better and more fun for yourself, the actors, and your fellow audience members! BUT SOFT, WHAT LIGHT THROUGH YONDER AUDIENCE BREAKS? Cell phones, cameras, mp3 players, your teacher's Christmas tree necktie... Just about everything these days has a light on it somewhere. Sitting in a dark room, even the smallest bright screen can be distracting for just about everyone. Have something with a light on it? Be sure to turn it off before the show starts. IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE, LEAVE IT AT HOME Know what sticks out as much as a lit screen in a dark room? A cell phone ringtone. Have something (anything!) that makes noise of any kind? Play it safe; leave it at home. Know what sticks out as much as a cell phone ringtone? A whisper. Crazy, huh? But it's true. Good luck trying to leave your voice at home, so remember that even your whisper can be heard by more than just your neighbor. TO BE SEATED, OR NOT TO BE SEATED, THERE REALLY IS NO QUESTION You don't want to miss any of the action! Once the show starts (the house lights will tell you that's about to happen by dimming or going out), you want to be glued to your seat. That way you can catch all of the exciting stuff, stay safe, and generally have an all-around good time. (Pssssst! Here's a hint to make it easier: use the restroom before the show. Trust us on this one.) FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN, LEND ME A HAND We'll let you in on a little secret: Here in the audience, we mind our manners in code. No, really, and it's easy. Anytime you want to say "thanks" or "hey, I liked that!" all you have to do is clap. So, at the end of a show, when all the actors take a bow (which, by the way, is actorcode for saying "thanks") take a moment and show that you're in-the-know with some applause. ROMEO & JULIET STUDY GUIDE PG 1

19 THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Although he is regarded by many to be the greatest author to ever have lived, there is much that we don t know about the life of William Shakespeare. Besides, reading a long, drawn out biography isn t something that many people consider much fun anyway (if you do, never fear so do we!) But, to spare the rest of you that tedium, we have provided some of the so-called highlights of the life of The Bard. Happy learning! Birth Well, that is an interesting way to start, and just goes to show we don t really know all that much. There are no records of the exact date of his birth, though many scholars place it on April 23, 1564 in Stratford- Upon-Avon in England. What we do know is that Shakespeare was baptized on April 26th of that same year in that same place, so the 23rd is a logical guess. Parents and Siblings John Shakespeare, a glover (aka a glove-maker) and Mary Arden, a landed heiress (landed meaning she owned land). We only know of five of their children that survived to adulthood; William was child number 3. Schooling Young William would have attended what was known as a free school, or a grammar school. These schools focused on Classical Latin and Greek, as well as the art of rhetoric, or the effective use of language. Shakespeare, use language effectively? Shocking, we know. Marriage and Children Anne Hathaway on November 26, Anne was 26, William was 18. They had three children: Susanna, and twins Judith and Hamnet. The girls survived to adulthood, Hamnet died at the age of 11. The Lost Years Following the birth of his children, Shakespeare disappears from all records for a full seven years. When he does turn up again, it s in London and he has established himself as an actor and writer. So, what happened during those seven years, you ask? See, that s the thing about the word Lost. They are just thatlost. Gone. Vanished (not to be confused with Thou art Banishéd! although he may have been...). We simply don t know. There has been a lot of speculation and debate, but in the end, there is no proof of anything but that he somehow wound up in London. The Lord Chamberlin s Men As previously mentioned, by 1594 Shakespeare was a writer, actor, and managing partner with the highly popular group known as The Lord Chamberlin s Men. This group became known as The King s Men when James I took the throne in They performed at The Globe, and would become the most successful theatre company of the day. Shakespeare even had some of his plays published and sold as penny-copies to those members of his audiences that were literate. This was a first for playwrights of his time. ROMEO & JULIET STUDY GUIDE PG 2

20 Retirement and Death Shakespeare retired from the world of theatre and London in 1611, and returned to his birthplace to live out his final days in comfort and peace. It was there that he died at age 52 on April 23rd, 1616, and interred at Holy Trinity on April 25, POSSIBLE SOURCES FOR SHAKESPEARE S ROMEO & JULIET The incomparable Master Shakespeare did not hesitate to borrow the plots of his plays from other sources, and turn them in to something just a little more special and memorable. Romeo and Juliet is no exception. How many of you have heard of Novelle by Matteo Bandello, or of the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, taken from Ovid s Metamorphoses? Not many, we d wager. The story of the star-crossed lovers as we know it today stems from Shakespeare s version of it, but audiences of his day would also have been familiar with the tale from multiple other sources. Here is a brief list of some of the works that gave him the idea for the plot that is now one of the most famous in the world: Metamorphoses by Ovid, 5 AD In Ovid s collection of myths and legends resides the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, two young lovers that meet by night though a hole in the wall that separates their families properties. The lovers decide to meet in secret, but fate intervenes when Thisbe is the first to arrive. She is chased off by a lioness, and in her haste drops her veil. Pyramus sees the veil and assumes Thisbe has been killed, so he in turn kills himself. Thisbe then returns to find Pyramus dead, and uses his sword to end her own life. If the names in this tale sound a little familiar, it is because it appears again as the play within a play in A Midsummer Night s Dream, written around the same time as Romeo and Juliet. Ephesiaca by Xenophon, 500 AD It is in this Greek tale that the use of a sleeping potion to feign death is first mentioned. A woman that is separated from her husband takes one to avoid having to marry another man. Il Novellino by Masuccio Salernitano, 1476 This story about Mariotto and Gianozza contains all of the high drama of Shakespeare s version but with pirates! They meet, fall in love, are secretly married, Mariotto is banished for killing an important citizen, and Gianozza takes the sleeping potion to avoid marrying another. During her sleep, a messenger is dispatched to tell Mariotto what has transpired, but he is captured by pirates during his journey. Gianozza awakes, and leaves to meet with Mariotto. Somehow they miss each other, and when Martiotto returns to their hometown, he is caught and executed. Gianozza lives out the rest of her days in a convent. Historia Novellamenta Ritrovata di due Novili Amanti by Luigi Da Porto, 1530 Da Porto is the one to set the story in Verona and with two actual historical families at the forefront, the Cappelletti and the Montecchi. ROMEO & JULIET STUDY GUIDE PG 3

21 Novelle by Matteo Bandello, 1554 Bandello changes the protagonists names to Julietta and Romeo, and this tale has a happy ending. They both end up alive in the tomb, and their families accept their marriage. Histories Tragiques by Pierre Boiastuau, 1559 This is the French adaptation of Bandello s work, with the tragic ending restored, and the lovers names changed to Romeo and Juliet. The Tragedie of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke, 1562 Brooke s version is the one considered by many to be the primary source for Shakespeare s work, though Brooke s tale is lacking in the romance and pizzazz that Shakespeare had a certain flair for. Shakespeare took Brooke s moralistic and dry poem, and added his signature language and depth of character. The play takes place over a shorter time (a handful of days instead of the 9 months Brooke uses) and makes Juliet several years younger. ROMEO & JULIET STUDY GUIDE PG 4

22 ETC S R&J CHARACTERS THE MONTAGUES Montague - head of the family Benvolio - Romeo's cousin and friend Romeo - only child of Montague Mercutio - member of the Prince's family, friend of the Montagues THE CAPULETS Capulet - head of the family Lady Capulet - wife of Capulet and mother of Juliet Juliet - only child of the Capulets Tybalt - Juliet's cousin Nurse - Juliet's primary caregiver Paris - member of the Prince's family, friend to the Capulets THE AUTHORITIES Escalus - Prince of Verona, neutral in the feud Friar Lawrence - a Franciscan friar, friend to both families AND THE... Apothecary - a poverty-stricken seller of medicine in Mantua ROMEO & JULIET STUDY GUIDE PG 5

23 R&J WORKSHEET NAME: PERIOD/CLASS: 1. The prologue to Romeo & Juliet gives a very concise synopsis of what is about to happen in the rest of the play and even gives away the ending! Why would Shakespeare have written it this way? 2. Which characters seem to believe in fate? How does that belief change their actions? 3. Different characters act out of different emotions. What emotions from each of the following characters make them do what they do? How can you tell? Tybalt (wanting to fight Romeo) Mercutio (wanting to fight Tybalt) Capulet (forcing Juliet to marry Paris) Nurse (helping Juliet to marry Romeo) 4. What difference does the setting of the play make? Where would you set this play? Why? 5. In this production, some actors play multiple roles. How can you tell the difference between the characters that a single actor might play?

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