Saturday, April 17, 2010

Romeo, Juliet, and Twitter

The Royal Shakespeare Company is being very modern about Romeo and Juliet.  Their current version of the play, "Such Tweet Sorrow," is a drama posted on Twitter in real time.  According to the rules of Twitter, each post is limited to 140 characters, even if the post is in Japanese.  The new play has 6 characters, 3 of whom have appeared so far:  Julietcap16, Tybalt_cap (Juliet's ne'er do well brother), and Jess_nurse (Juliet's older sister).  The story is a rough adaptation of Shakespeare's play set in real time.  Juliet Capulet adores her deceased mother, who died in a car driven by the artist Montague.  Her father has banned all of Montague's art -- and, of course, Montague's son, Romeo --  from the Capulet house.  The plot unfolds... 

Julietcap16 is distinctly less eloquent than Shakespeare's Juliet.  The former says such things as, "Morning tweeple!! Tweeting live from my bed... Need to leave for school in 20 mins but... My 17th viewing of Twilight is taking over!!"  However, she did use Youtube to give her followers the benefit of a tour of her bedroom, complete with a photograph and a sentimental trinket of her beloved Mum.  The characters on Twitter often speak in obscenities, but so did Shakespeare's characters. "Such Tweet Sorrow" is pulsing with audience / reader participation.  At 7:25 AM, April 14, Julietcap16 has 3,786 followers and 109 Tweets. 

If all this is confusing to you, look at    for a good explanation.

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