TUESDAY TAKEOVER – Alexandria Park Community School


This week, we students of Alexandria Park Community School are taking over! Thanks to Foxtel and AIME mentoring we had the chance to see Romeo And Juliet at the Sydney Opera House and had a chat with the director and the actors afterwards. It was an amazing show and we felt really lucky to get the chance to meet them. In the lesson following the excursion, we wrote some blog articles for the Meet The Players blog – check them out! If you have questions for The Players, don’t forget to send them through to learning@bellshakespeare.com.au ahead of their Live-Streamed Q&A tomorrow afternoon! #BehindtheBalcony 🙂

How were visual and sound techniques used to add depth to the production?

When the dagger jabbed into Juliet’s heart, darkness and a tragic melody fell upon the stage.

On Monday the 3rd of August, Alexandria Park Community School and other schools had the pleasure to see the play Romeo and Juliet directed by James Evans. The theatrical play was one of the best we have seen while in school and not just because of the acting but the amount of effort placed put into the use of visual and sound effects. The visual effects within the play were astonishing, the way the lights changed colour and tone really set the theme for the scene. The way they effectively used the panels incorporated within the set also brought the play to life. Romeo and Juliet’s families were also distinguished by the colours they wore, Romeo wore blue and Juliet wore red. The sound, also incorporated with the lights, brought an atmospheric level of depth into the scene. When a sad and depressing scene entered the stage, the music changed to a sad score, whilst when a happy scene came on, the music changed to a happy score. The score made and tailored for this play was incredible and no one would want it to change. Overall the visual and sound effects of this play is what really brought the atmospheric depth to this theatrical play.

By Igor Andonov, Alix Guo, Jason Lam and Charles Zheng

How did the modern representation of the play assist your understanding?

The modern representation of Romeo and Juliet has assisted us greatly in understanding the play.

Since the original Romeo and Juliet play was originated about 400 years ago, it was hard for us to understand the use of language. However, by making a modern representation of the play, it helped us to understand the plot of the story much more.

It helped us by being able to associate with the actors by understanding their choices of clothing and the props that were used.  The use of modern music made it easier to set the mood of how you should be feeling.

The set was unique because most stages are generally flat and fairly large, however this was small and had only one big stair-like object and the set was able to represent different scenes at the same time. This was a smart choice, as it didn’t over complicate the play.

By Fuad Ferdous, Dayu Huang and Wesley Darmawangsa

How did the modern representation of the play assist your understanding?

The modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet helped me to understand a lot of things in a lot of ways through the use of humour, lighting and sound, and props and costumes.

The modern humour in the play helped me relate to the play and the characters because in the beginning of the play I had no idea what was going on due to the old language being used. Eventually I got used to it and everything became amusing, though.

The visual and sound effects made a big impact on the presentation of the play too. The use of stairs on the stage was a very clever concept and enhanced the experience of watching Romeo and Juliet. I liked how they didn’t use conventional props, instead using random household items like a crowbar, screwdriver, pole, etc.

The lighting and music choices gave some scenes a sense of drama or sadness and it helped convey emotion very well. Not only this, but the song choices were very modern and really did help the audience relate to the mood being displayed.

Something I found interesting was the costume choices for the play. The characters were dressed in casual clothes you’d see today on the street, as opposed to big formal dresses and fancy suits. For me, this sort of brought the play further into the present and made watching it really captivating.

All in all, I can’t deny that it was a great spin off of a classic and I would watch it again if presented with the chance. Great job James!

By Nicola Ross

What did you think of the use of humour in the play?

The use of humour in Romeo and Juliet gives it a modern twist that is relatable for many people in this day and age. Although the original plays main focus was on the tragedy and romance but the audience received a shock at the light humour used in the play.

The most humorous character that we could relate the most to would be Mercutio as he teased the love sick Romeo about his relationship with Rosaline. Benvolio is his partner in crime and goes along with his antics. Benvolio is more toned down than Mercutio but still provides occasional laughter to the audience.

For people who haven’t seen different variations of Romeo and Juliet, usually stereotype the play to be morbid but this particular version of Romeo and Juliet defies all these stereotypes.

In conclusion the humour found in this specific play shows that humour can be incorporated into a romantic tragedy.

By Judie Wang, Shara Haque and Raisa Raihan

How are gender roles portrayed throughout the story of Romeo And Juliet and the Bell Shakespeare production?

Gender roles are often defined by what your genitalia are. In the past, if you were considered a woman, you would be considered a lower priority and be shown as the weaker side compared to men. This is proven in the story of Romeo and Juliet.

In the story and play, Juliet was supposed to be married off to a noble figure against her will, as that’s how women were expected to live – be married at a young age, give birth, and carry down the family line. Especially at Juliet’s age, 14, she has absolutely no freedom or choice of her own, whereas with men, they were allowed to have a will of their own and choose their own future. Since Juliet refused to marry Paris, her parents nearly disowned her.

In the past, men performed women’s roles in Shakespeare’s plays. Women in the past were not expected and not allowed to get involved in society`s work industry and business. For example, in marriage, men were expected to rule over their wives, and all property belonged to them. Men were the primary wage earners, while women were expected to be primarily responsible for housework and childcare. It was evident throughout the play that the king and men had the most say over major decisions.

Therefore, Romeo and Juliet accurately represents gender roles throughout that time period and the actors carried out these roles amazingly with emotion and confidence.

By Angela Fu, Anneliese Ho, Shanna Yan and Elaine Zhong

What did you learn from the story of Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo and Juliet is a play made by William Shakespeare about two families that opposed each other. Even though Romeo and Juliet were not of the same family they still loved each other, this lead to a series of tragedy and loss for both sides.

We learned that in the past, women had almost no rights and were not really cared for because in the play, Juliet was forced to marry someone she didn’t like, when her true love was Romeo. “You will marry Count Paris whether you like it or not” quoted by Capulet, Juliet’s father. This shows that in the past women had close to no rights and were forced to marry whoever their parents wanted.

You also learn that patience is key. If Romeo had just waited for a while longer, neither of them would have had to die and they may have been able to escape to another land and live happy lives away from the war raging on between the two families. However, because of Romeo’s impatience, he lost not only his own life but also his most loved one. If he had just waited a while longer, this story may not have had to be a tragic one but a joyous story with a happy ending.

These are some of the many things that everyone could’ve learned from the play of Romeo and Juliet.  It has taught me many important lessons and could teach someone else even more.

By Kerry Qian, Robin Bhetwal and Kevin Gao


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