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Taft Today

Taft Today

From the Page to the Stage

Courtesy of reporters.

Reading novels and plays is very important to English classes, but it is also just as important to be able to view the things that are being read to help provide more of an understanding to the text. 

For many teachers, going to view things that are read in class just feels right. They have to ensure that they are choosing books that are going to be intriguing for students, as well as being able to fit the criteria for books that need to be read for the class. 

When asked why he chose the novels that were chosen, IB Language and Literature teacher, Darren Tuggle, said, “To me it seems like a natural idea. If I know I can take kids and get free tickets, and I know that the books are on the prescribed reading list, it only makes sense to do both at the same time.”

Watching the plays or visual adaptations of novels can really help to elaborate on the novels and give them a new or different meaning or perspective.

“It allows students to experience the story in another medium, which can enhance their understanding and appreciation of the text. Live plays bring the characters and setting to life in a way that reading alone cannot,” said IB Language and Literature teacher, Barbara Newton.

It not only increases the understanding of the text, but the ability to provide a new perspective encourages students to revisit the text and have a better understanding for the future. 

IB Language and Literature teacher, Stephanie Mazon, said, “Students were able to see the play before writing their HL essay. I believe this inspired a few to revisit the text for their end-of-year assessment.”

Something else that is very important is that Chicago is known for their amazing theatre and it should be something that students and teachers are able to use for their benefit.

“We live in a world class theatre city and it doesn’t make sense to not take advantage of the fact that we’re in this amazing city that everyone in the world knows about how good Chicago theatre is so I think we sometimes forget to take advantage of those things,” said Tuggle.

Watching these plays is not only for the students’ benefit. Even teachers and other adults enjoy watching the things that they read.

“I do enjoy watching adaptations of the plays we read. It offers a fresh perspective and often highlights the aspects of the story that I might not have considered. On the other hand, it makes me think of the decisions directors and creators make if the adaptation steers away from the original content,” said Newton.

There are also some noticeable differences in the classes that are able to view the live adaptations of the plays. Students are more engaged and more excited to read the novels that they are given.

“I think that the level of excitement was really high and I think that it probably helped people that wrote about it for their essay. I feel like people’s excitement level was really high and that is contagious,” said Tuggle.

People tend to forget to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that we have here in Chicago. To see the plays and watch people recreate something in a way that may have never been thought of before. It is important to understand different meanings behind texts and these adaptations are a great way to see them.

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About the Contributors
Mary Connolly
Mary Connolly, Reporter
Carmen Ramirez
Carmen Ramirez, Reporter