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Archive for December 5th, 2011

I played Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew” on the stage of Shenandoah High School 40 years ago. But I don’t think I ever had as much fun with Shakespeare as Maryanne Kocsis MacLeod and her cast of Romeo and Juliet on Facebook.

This is one of my favorite examples of community engagement by Journal Register Co. journalists.

Basically, it’s the classic Shakespearean story played out in improvisational Facebook updates by high school actors in the community. Only the story takes some of the twists that would happen as such a tale might play out in Facebook updates today.Maryanne, health and lifestyles writer for the Macomb Daily, got the idea from a press release in which author David Gray posed the possibility: “Imagine Romeo and Juliet on Facebook.” After talking with Gray, Maryanne mulled the possibilities and started recruiting her cast.

The actors created Facebook profiles for their characters (Julie Capulet’s inspirations include a certain Elizabethan playwright; witty Mercutio is a Jersey Shore fan who likes to party and TheLady Montague‘s profile photo is her cartoon character from “Gnomeo and Juliet”). Maryanne hosted a cast meeting where they discussed logistics and the story line. Maryanne explains: (more…)

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