Third-graders stage Shakespeare's most famous play

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By The Staff

Staff Report

Students in Rebecca Grant's third-grade class at Taylor County Elementary finished up a unit on William Shakespeare recently by performing one of his most famous plays.

On Sunday, March 16, the students performed "Romeo & Juliet" for their parents and the community. Students performed selected scenes from Act I, Act III, Act IV and Act V.

But the unit was not simply about performing in a play, according to Grant.

"The students created their own advertising by making their own posters," she said. "They also made their own programs and invitations."

Grant said the class first read about Shakespeare and followed that by reading the play. Next came auditions, then practices and then the final performance.

"They really had less than two weeks to learn all their lines," she said. "They did a wonderful job."

Andrea Woodcox, who portrayed Juliet, said she had seen the movie and was excited about performing in the play.

"We practiced for a long time," she said.

Alexandra Brockman said she was looking forward to playing Lady Capulet because she thought it would be fun.

"Plus we got to dress up and wear all the costumes."

Hunter Jessie, who played the part of Benvolio, said the fact that he got to pretend to fight and call people names was neat, while Stone Williams, who played Prince Escalus, said he was glad he got to play a peacemaker.

Andrew Powell, who played the part of Romeo, said he liked the sword fighting they did during the play, though he wasn't as thrilled about having to "kiss" Juliet.

"There's a secret," he said, "see, I lean over like this and it just looks like I kissed her."

The costumes were the most exciting part of the project to many of the students, as Grant has collected many over the six years her students have been performing Shakespeare.

She said she thinks the play had a positive effect on her students this year.

"They're different somehow," Grant said. "They seem more focused."

The cast list included:

Introduction - Loren Finck and Brook Sweeney.

Narrators - Meghan Sanford and Bethany Lee.

Court jesters - Jamie Waggoner and Haley Colvin.

The Court - Stone Williams as Prince Escalus, Alec Hillard as Count Paris and Lanie Hall as Mercutio.

The Greeters - Leigh Ann Humphress, Brook Sweeney, Loren Finck and Rebekah Bolin.

House of Capulet - Andrea Woodcox as Juliet, John Mark Courtwright as Lord Capulet, Alexandra Brockman as Lady Capulet, Tate Floyd as Tybalt, Gary Harris as Peter and Cailee Higdon as the nurse.

House of Montague - Andrew Powell as Romeo, Dylan Davis as Lord Montague, Rachel Price as Lady Montague, Hunter Jessie as Benvolio and Rebekah Bolin as Balthasar.

Others - Nathan Mink and Marcus Ray as Friar Lawrence, Michael Lyons as Friar John, Kaley Cox as the Apothecary, Rachel Price and Michael Lyons in the PaVanne presentation, and Brook Sweeney, Dylan Davis, Tate Floyd, Alex Hillard, Gary Harris, Lanie Hall, Hunter Jessie and Cailee Higdon as Verona's citizens.