What is The Romeo and Juliet Project?
In its first year, TSC's Romeo and Juliet Project brought Romeo and Juliet to life for every ninth-grade student at Bartlett, Ridgeway, and Kirby High Schools. Last year, we welcomed Carver High School to The Project. This year, we expand even further to include Booker T. Washington High School.
During The Romeo and Juliet Project every freshman class receives three visits from TSC Teaching-Artists. Thus far, this experience has moved the text off the page and created an active encounter with the play for nearly 2,500 students.
The Romeo and Juliet Project has two life-changing, even life-saving, goals:
1) To bolster interest and engagement in classical literature, sparking a life-long love affair with reading while strengthening both comprehension and self-confidence.
2) To create positive social change in each school's learning community. We do this by exploring three central themes within the play that profoundly affect Memphis youth:
- Armed Violence;
- Peer Pressure; and
- Decision-Making in the absence of adult role models.
Over the course of three sessions, students develop language to articulate their feelings, gain greater empathy and compassion for one another, and explore life-saving methods of non-violent conflict resolution.
What are Teachers and Students Saying?
"I can't believe how into it the students are. They're really going beneath the surface and getting to the issues in this play. The way TSC teachers highlight how the story relates to the students' lives is amazing. What TSC is doing is amazing. The whole project is just amazing!"
- Barb Gelb, Director of Education & Outreach, ArtsMemphis
"This is the most enjoyable class ever. I wish you could teach the entire play!"
- Freshman English Student, Bartlett High School
"Because my students had the privilege to watch the actors in action, the play truly came alive for them during our subsequent reading of the play. The program has benefitted countless students, and I sincerely hope that it can continue its impact."
- Morgan Byrd, Freshman English Teacher, Bartlett High School
How Can I Get Involved?
Our work in the three target schools was so successful that we plan to expand and bring this life-saving message to even more students throughout Memphis in Fall 2013.
The Romeo and Juliet Project is funded in part by ArtsMemphis, but you can help ensure our success in the classroom by becoming a Project Sponsor.
Your sponsorship helps fund this exciting outreach endeavor, further guaranteeing that no student or school will EVER have to pay to participate. As our "thank you," your minimum sponsorship of $50.00 entitles you to receive the exclusive Romeo and Juliet Project T-Shirt. Sizes are limited, so hurry for best selection!
Contact Stephanie Shine for more information at [email protected] or (901) 759-0604.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company's The Romeo and Juliet Project is part of Shakesepare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.