Much Ado About Tweeting

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a while since the fun and silliness of “Brevity is the Soul of (t)Wit,” an experiment using Twitter to present Hamlet. When we did this back in the spring of 2011, (!) Twitter was really just coming into its own and we were just discovering how we could harness that tool. Over the March Break I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to try to present Hamlet over Twitter? I and those who joined me for the ride, learned a LOT from the experience. You can discover what I learned by clicking through this presentation (it will also show you how I adapted the exercise for my students):

There will be a few changes this time around:

1) We’re doing a comedy (although it gets pretty dark at times) Much Ado About Nothing.

2) I will create and retain access to all the Twitter handles (Why? I might want to use them again in the future)

3) I’m not going to use a separate webpage to curate this material, instead I’ll make a page on this blog.

4) We’ll use a hashtag this time as well as a list. The hashtag is yet to be determined. I’m open to suggestions.

How can you get involved if you are interested?

If you want a role in our play, I’ve created a call sheet:

All you need to do is give me your real name, Twitter handle, and email address.

What are you committing to?

1) Researching your role and the general plot of the play. Know what your background is, your motivation, and how you relate to the other characters in the play. You don’t need to know the original text inside and out. Using a student-friendly site like Shmoop will be enough.

2) Using our group calendar:     to stay synchronized with the other actors. In the calendar, I’ve indicated when events should happen by. I’ve also given you a summary of the events of the scene. If you’re planning on tweeting about time-sensitive stuff, I recommend you co-ordinate with the other actors through direct messages, but please only use the direct messages to coordinate tweets. There’s no point in staying in character in direct messages since the general public can’t see them.

3) Focusing not only on tweeting what happens on-stage in the play, but also on what might be happening off stage. This is one of the most powerful parts of this exercise: There are literally no small parts. You can tweet as much as you like whenever you like–even if the summary for a particular scene doesn’t involve your character. Your character still exists when he/she isn’t on stage!

4) If you would like to create multimedia content and share that in a tweet (a picture, video, link to other content), you are welcome to do so.

5) I would encourage you to watch the Joss Whedon film version of Much Ado About Nothing. It gives the right feel for what I’m imagining for the play–BUT we tweet in modern language.

6) You’re also committing to being respectful and courteous in your behind the scenes conversations with other actors (that should go without saying, but I’ll put it out there just in case.)

I’m hoping to get started by next Saturday, but if I have to change dates I will.

One final note: I would like to share this project with my staff and high school students. Our tweets are public anyway, so I’m not sure that the fact that I want to share with my students will change your the way you plan your tweets but it might so I wanted you to know that up front.

Any questions? Contact me on Twitter! I’m @danikatipping

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