By Zumen Javed ‘18 and Evelyn Perez ‘18
AP Spanish students took the stage when they performed scenes from Don Quijote De La Mancha. The performances took place on December 21 and 22 in the school auditorium.
The project consisted of the students picking a chapter from the novel, Don Quijote De La Mancha by Miguel De Cervantes. Students had to write a script based on the scene(s) from the chapter they picked. The script didn’t have to be exactly like described in the novel; the script could have changes such as changing the way a character reacts.
In addition, they had to write a reflection on why Don Quijote is a universal character and include a profile on the characters that were involved in their scene(s).
According to Dr. Rafael Rodriguez, the AP Spanish teacher, this is the second year that the classes put these performances together.
The project required a lot of time and effort, so Dr. Rodriguez gave his students three weeks to work on the project. Most of the work was done at home, but he also gave them class time to complete the project.
The students had different thoughts about the project. Sonia Trelles ‘18 believes that this project was beneficial because it helped her vocabulary expand.
“This was a challenging project because the language was challenging,” said Trelles. “My favorite part of this project was putting the script and work together, which was not easy but it was worth the experience.”
Jacobs Rubel ‘17 said, “It was hard to fully grasp what was going on in the book while reading it in Spanish. I learned that performing something like a play is much more complicated than it seems, even though we are only doing one scene.”
The presentations had to be between seven and ten minutes long. This was an obstacle for many groups because many of their scenes were short while others were long.
“[A] challenge that I faced was making the scene shorter so that we can fit [it between] seven and ten minutes,” said David Garcia ‘18.
The audience who had the opportunity to see the students perform ranged from a few Spanish teachers to classmates to people who were hanging out in the auditorium. Ms. Susanna Sala, a Spanish teacher was among the audience who saw the performances.
“It was very interesting to see the students bringing to life one of the classics for the Spanish literature,” said Ms. Sala.
Many students acted scenes that involved universal ideas such as insanity, women rights, and injustice. Such topics allowed the students to visualize that these issues have always existed.
“I think they were able to embody Don Quijote, one of the most prominent figures in the Hispanic culture,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “We were able to see how different students were able to be in the flesh of a fictional character.”
These projects allowed the students to learn about the Spanish culture and Spanish language. This was adifferent experience for various students compared to the other Spanish classes. Students also had the opportunity to have fun.
Dr. Rodriguez said, “Not only was it interesting to see the students address these issues, [while] having fun trying to dress someone in the early 17th century, but it was interesting for a young generation of high school students because the book was written to be make people laugh.”