English Department

at the University of Michigan-Flint

The final project for “Shakespeare In Performance” asked students to create their own “green worlds” and characters who would enter these other worlds and come out changed. Kaitlyn Cool used her project as an opportunity to think critically about the COVID-19 outbreak and the pandemic of corruption it has unleashed. She created a tyrant king, Coronius, who refuses to close the borders to protect his people until he, himself, is threatened. Her script imagines Coronius falling ill as he tries to run from the disease. His green world is an infirmary where he is well-cared for, but where he witnesses people dying around him and the difficulties of making due with few supplies. When he recovers, he takes on the role of nurse to the dying. This green world proves to be a dream: the sick king is found, delirious with fever, in the tunnels leading out of the city. He is returned and cured, but the whole experience changes him for the better. Kaitlyn’s project seems to me to represent the ways school studies can help students work through the plethora of difficult issues we face as a society and come out of this more aware, more caring, more whole.

Author’s Statement:
My name is Kaitlyn Cool. I recently wrote a brief green world story on a character named Coronius. I currently work at a rehab and assisted living facility and the current state of the world has definitely made work conditions less than desirable. I found myself struggling to keep on top of my school work while working every day in a constant stress filled environment. Trying to juggle work and school during this Covid-19 pandemic quickly made an impact on my life. When beginning my creative writing project, I decided to use my writing as a way to satirize the way many people have been treating the lockdown enforced by the government. As a healthcare worker I know how important the rules we have in place are, as I am faced daily with the uncertainty of if I, or any of my coworkers, will be the cause of spreading the virus to even a single patient. Coronius was created to depict what could happen when we as individuals are careless and self-absorbed in a time when extreme precautions should be utilized.

To read Kaitlyn’s story, click here