Lesson 5 by nuhman10


									              Lesson 5: Staging, Props and Costumes in Much Ado About Nothing

Lesson Rationale: The staging of any play defines the mood, historical period, and response that
an audience may have regardless of the script. Many versions of Shakespeare’s plays have been
modernized to express a more contemporary take on the Themes and Characterization. Students
should understand that there is not a right way to stage a production and that theme and characters
may be portrayed very differently by simply changing costumes, props and setting.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:
     Understand the effects of staging, props and costumes on the overall story, and our
        understanding of the character construction (identity)
     Contrast at least two different performances of Shakespeare

Materials needed:

       Film : Romeo & Juliet (1996); Directed by Baz Luhrmann - The play is modernized, yet
        Luhrmann stays with the original dialogue
       Film version of the play Much Ado About Nothing: A Kenneth Branagh Film, adapted
        for the screen by Kenneth Branagh. A Renaissance Films Production and Samuel Goldwyn
        Company, 1993. Produced by Stephen Evans, David Parfitt, and Kenneth Branagh.
        Directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Lesson Development:

           1. Discuss traditional staging, Props and costumes for Much Ado About Nothing. *
              Use Overhead examples.           How does this compare with the movie version that
              we have been watching?
           2. Show the opening sequences from Romeo & Juliet (1996) ie. Gunfight scene
           3. Have students list the modernized aspects of the film. Discuss whether they were
              able to follow the story even though the language is the original Shakespeare script.
              What did they like? What did they dislike? What specific Props or costumes helped
              us to understand the characters and their place in the story?
           4. Read Act 3 Scenes 1 & 2
           5. Discuss how students perceive the characters in the play. How might they portray
              them in a modern stylized production?
           6. Assign Journal assignment- Either: Pretend you are filming a cool new modern
              version of Much Ado About Nothing; Choose one character from the play, tell who
              you would cast to play the part (movie star), what they would wear, and why? What
              parts of their costume help us to identify them as that particular character?
           7. Show Film version of the play Much Ado About Nothing: A Kenneth Branagh
              Film until end of Act 3 Scene 2.


Discuss any questions about the play so far. Address any gaps in understanding so far.

*Homework: finish journal entry assignment for next class
Synopses: ACT III, SCENE I [PP. 73-77]

Hero arranges for Beatrice to overhear a conversation about Benedick's love sickness and desire
for Beatrice. Beatrice listens while Hero and her waiting lady commiserate about how Beatrice
would only make fun of Benedick if she knew. Beatrice is taken in and has a complete change of
heart; she vows to love Benedick if he will have her.


Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato tease Benedick saying he doesn't look like himself; he is pale
and melancholy as well as clean and newly shaven. Finally when he can't stand their teasing
anymore, Benedick asks to talk privately with Leonato.

Don John joins Don Pedro and Claudio and accuses Hero of being unfaithful. He says he wants to
save Claudio from a dishonorable marriage, and he will take them that night to Hero's bedroom
window where they will see her with a man on the night before her wedding. Claudio swears that if
she is with a man, he will shame her at their wedding before the whole congregation.
Staging and Costumes for
Much Ado About Nothing

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