I wish I had thought of this when I was in high school, let me tell you. I came across this article from the East Valley Tribune about a new musical version of Jane Austen’s Emma, and I thought, “Now this is genius!”
You see, in high school and then in college, we are always looking for projects for English classes, and professors like unusual, creative projects, too. I remember one time writing a sequel to Animal Farm, setting 17th-century poetry to rock and punk music, making a storyboard and soundtrack for a horror movie version of something or other, and even spoofing Monty Python by making a movie, “The Quest for the Scarlet Letter!”
Forget that noise.
Make a musical!
Imagine the possibilities!
- Winston Smith learns to dance in 1984!
- Montag and Clara sing about leaves smelling like clove in Fahrenheit 451!
- Frankenstein’s monster has trouble talking, but, man, can he sing!
- Pearl is truly a rock and roll demon child in The Scarlet Letter!
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream becomes a hippy pot trip complete with psychedelic rock!
I could go on and on! With lots of exclamation points!
But I will stop. I could even see myself recording a song or two. I know any one of my English teachers would have loved it. The trick is to make it so that you have thought about the work of literature and re-imagined it in a way that amplifies but doesn’t change the main themes. A new setting that makes sense? That’s cool. Doing it just because? Not cool.
Try it. And if you do, send me a link to it.
Now I want to dance!