ADAPTING SHAKESPEARE THROUGH PERFORMANCE: A CASE STUDY IN UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH
History has it that Shakespeare has arrived in Malaysian soil during the period of British colonization in 1900. The works were taught, translated staged and appropriated throughout the years. In recent years, Shakespeare's works were not fully introduced in primary and secondary schools, except for a small part under the poetry category, to fulfill the materials for literature component in language learning. As a result, students are not familiar with major Shakespeare's works when they completed their secondary education.
This qualitative paper through a case study attempts to present an implementation of a performance method in teaching Shakespeare to several groups of students studying in universiti Malaysia Sabah for a period of ten years (2000-2010). A module based on the performance assessment was designed to teach Shakespeare to students who have not been exposed to Shakespeare’s major works before. A tragedy play, Macbeth was chosen, whereby the students involved were exposed to the main reading text and film before adapting and performing a segment of the play according to their interpretation. Students have the opportunity to adapt and prepare their own scripts in performing their version of Macbeth. The study reveals that the module could enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the play. It also suggests that even though the work is archaic and difficult, students were able to liberate themselves from this problem through freedom of interpretation and adaptation. To conclude, the success paves a new horizon in reintroducing Shakespeare to Malaysian students in later years.