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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Re: West Side Story
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2162  Tuesday, 7 December 1999.

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Dec 1999 12:21:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2154 Luhrmann vs. West Side Story

[2]     From:   Nicolas Pullin <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Dec 1999 11:54:34 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 10.2154 Luhrmann vs. West Side Story -Reply


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Monday, 06 Dec 1999 12:21:21 -0500
Subject: 10.2154 Luhrmann vs. West Side Story
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2154 Luhrmann vs. West Side Story

Local papers and TV a week or so ago had much ado about an Amherst, MA,
h.s. production of WSS which was cancelled when 100 signatories
protested that the script is demeaning to Puerto Ricans, full of slurs
and insults.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nicolas Pullin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 06 Dec 1999 11:54:34 -0600
Subject: Luhrmann vs. West Side Story -Reply
Comment:        SHK 10.2154 Luhrmann vs. West Side Story -Reply

In reply to Janet MacLellan's query:

I may be in an unusual situation, but I have worked on two productions
of Romeo & Juliet (80 minute versions) and on a recent West Side Story
with high school students at the same high school in Dallas over the
last ten years.  Though I was not the director or their teacher, but
choreographed all the combat and edited the shortened R & J, I found
these students (many of them quite talented) to respond equally well to
both texts and to both films.  They were in fact critical of both for
different reasons (the lack of reality in WSS particularly for the Jets,
and the lack of language in R+J), but they also were impressed by the
drive, energy, and athleticism of both films, achievements which they
understood all the more after attempting them themselves.  In my own
work with them, I always strive towards realistic violence with specific
and responsible consequences, so that, even though they "love" fighting,
they use its depiction to address problems and not to impress or look
"cool."  I have never been less than impressed by the students
willingness to find what is useful and effective/affective in both these
films.
 

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