Romeo and Juliet – A co-production by UCS and Westminster Academy

Partner: Westminster Academy, 255 Harrow Road, London
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Drama

A community production of Romeo and Juliet featuring a combined cast from UCS and Westminster Academy.

Aims of the project

To provide students with a greater understating of the workings of staging a production in a professional theatre. This includes: rehearsing as a professional company, technical rehearsals in a professional theatre, dress rehearsals in a professional theatre, integration of set, lighting, sound in a professional space, publicising a production that occurs outside of the school premises.
To develop and nurture creative partnerships between students and staff from different schools.
To improve community cohesion amongst students from both schools.
To provide students with an opportunity to explore Shakespeare practically on the 400th Year Anniversary of Shakespeare’ death.

Background and goals

For several years, both UCS and Westminster Academy have performed separate productions alongside each other for the Shakespeare Schools Festival. This year, the schools will actively produce Romeo and Juliet together.

Resources

Performed in a professional theatre, the Arts Depot. The project is directed by UCS’ Director in Residence who will rehearse with both schools on each weekday afternoon between Monday-Thursday. The production has a set designed by a professional theatre designer.

Impact

The students' interest in Drama has increased due the professional nature of this production – they have developed an understanding of the expectations of performing to a paying, public audience whilst working with theatre professionals. Students have developed friendships as well as collaborative relationships with students from a different school. Students have developed their understanding of performing Shakespeare – they have developed an awareness of speaking verse, Shakespearean characterisation and the conventions of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre. Students have been taught new skills in movement and characterisation and have also been directly involved in the process of designing the production.

Pupil involvement

A total of 24 students are involved in the production. Aged 12-15.

Frequency and duration

All students participate in two rehearsal sessions a week.