Eighth graders enjoy private performance of “Romeo and Juliet: A Tale of Two Balconies”

Just days after eighth grade students finished their study of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the Wesleyan Wolf Players performed a condensed and comedic retelling of the story as part of their spring production, “Stories in Rep: 2 One-Acts.” “Romeo and Juliet: A Tale of Two Balconies” was one of two one-acts performed in “Stories in Rep,” and the whole eighth class enjoyed a private performance a few days after the full show concluded.
After dissecting and navigating Shakespearean language for a few weeks, the eighth grade students better appreciated how the high school cast and crew delivered Shakespeare’s plot with jokes in both old English and modern idioms.

“Of course the students laughed at the modern day story being told on stage,” explained Jane Leake, middle school English teacher. “But after studying the play for weeks, they also recognized and enjoyed the humor of the more traditional, Shakespearean language, too. Plus, they felt very special to get their own special performance in Lencke Theater.”

Most of the Wesleyan Wolf Players performing “Romeo and Juliet: A Tale of Two Balconies” first read Shakespeare’s play when they took Leake’s English class. Drawing on what they learned in eighth grade English, the cast and crew could better understand how the modern retelling followed the original plot they knew so well.

“I taught Davis Olds, who directed the one-act, and three of the four cast members,” shared Leake. “I’m so proud of their love of learning, reading, and performing, and to me, this private performance is a perfect example of the benefits of a K-12 school. We are all learning and growing in community with one another.”