Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at Daytona is over
Daytona Middle School students and staff had a very successful performance of Romeo and Juliet on Thursday evening, March 9, with about 160 people in the audience.

All those who worked on the show send a special thanks to Tracy Halbash (set construction), Ginger Martin (sound & music), Anita Melendez (set decoration), Sue Parrett (costumes), Tammie Dutton (costumes), Stacy Jacobs (parent support), Lisa Morgan (parent support), Dee Erhart (office support), Terri Halbash (office support), Alexis Clark (program), and Kathi Warner (reception). They also wish to thank all those who attended, and especially those who made a donation.

If you are not familiar with the play, here are the famous last lines. Who knows? If you are a student, they might help you on a test someday.

A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardoned, and some punished;
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.*

Related- See "Staying after school with Shakespeare" (An article written for our web site and reproduced below).
*From The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972.

Staying after school with Shakespeare

Mr. White teaches acting.
Mr. White teaches acting.
There is an advertisement on TV where a guy is taking a challenge to actually stay at his desk for a few minutes past 5 p.m. on a Friday. It is such a difficult task that he is wearing a helmet and goggles. It is such a difficult task that, when someone off camera announces that he has accomplished his goal, he immediately falls out of his chair to the floor because he is exhausted from the strain. This leads us to the question of what would cause students to voluntarily stay after school on a Friday? Would you believe....Shakespeare?

Late last year, several Daytona Middle School teachers decided to go ahead with something they had talked about for some time. They scheduled an open audition for all Daytona students interested in a part in a school production of Romeo and Juliet. The day of auditions arrived. How many students would show up? Three? Could they hope for ten? Thirty students came to audition for the 15 available parts. Actors were chosen, and rehearsals are now underway.

Actors study their lines.
Actors study their lines.

On the Friday these pictures were taken, five Daytona staff members—Lee White, social studies teacher; D’Arcy Babcock, reading; Sherry Dailey, counselor; Kristy Morelli, science; and Pat Thomas, math—were working with about 12 students. Some of the students, including Romeo, were missing due to basketball practice and a geography bee that were going on at the same time. Mr. White said the absentee situation will improve as soon as basketball season is over.

Teacher wearing a Daytona pride t-shirt.
Ms. Babcock wears a Daytona pride t-shirt. Defense?

While the students practiced their lines, the staff members answered some questions. They were using an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, written by a school teacher named Liz Gollen. Her version is shorter, and has a new character named Cornelius who is used to help clarify some of the language and events in the play. The students had watched the 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet with Olivia Hussey to learn more about the play and their characters. The play will be performed for students and staff on March 8 during a school assembly. It will be performed for the general public in the Daytona gym at 6:30 p.m. on March 9. (These dates may change.) They have not decided whether there will be an admission charge for the public performance. They have no budget for this project, and it would be nice to collect some money that can be used for a play next year. They want to thank High School drama teacher Sue Parrott and Nautilus Elementary teacher Lisa Morgan for their help and support. Mr. White explained that he is glad to be able to bring this type of experience to the students. The kids are enjoying themselves, and so are the staff members.

Sword fight.
What's theater without a good sword (yardstick) fight? Students Adam and Destiny practice some moves.

When not practicing lines, the students heard from staff members about the importance of getting into character for their part and developing a stage voice, different from the voice used when talking to your friends. As you can see from our pictures, the students are not to the dress rehearsal point yet, and they are using yardsticks to represent swords, but costumes and props are in the works.

Lake Havasu Unified is proud of these staff members and students. Students are learning about literature and language while building their performance skills. Staff members are showing they will go the extra measure to provide a well rounded education for our students. Mark your calendars (March 9, 6:30 p.m., but check back for possible change.) and plan on attending the play. The students will appreciate your support. (1/23/06)