Best and Worst of William Shakespeare

As we restructure the company, prepping for an exciting 2015 spring production that will be announced on December 15th, I realized that I haven’t made any posts on the Copyright-Free Play Archive in a while.  Our focus in the coming years will be on building the community around the inherently interdisciplinary art form of theatre, … Continue reading

King Lear

This marks the end of an era, doesn’t it?  All of Shakespeare’s extant plays have been documented here, and soon I hope to move on to other copyright-free plays fit for production.  But now are the final thoughts on Shakespeare’s complete works, culminating in King Lear.  This is a complex and intriguing play, regarding the … Continue reading

Othello

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to contribute anything to this archive, so I’m happy to be back in that swing of things while life settles down for a bit.  Just two more Shakespeare plays to go before I move on to some contemporaries and examine their worth for a modern production.  … Continue reading

Troilus and Cressida

William Shakespeare wrote a play about the Trojan War.  Well, that’s just awesome.   So why is it never performed that often? You know, the ancient pseudo-mythical decade-long conflict that even rivals World War II in pop culture.  Even if you never read Homer’s Iliad or Virgil’s Aeneid, you know the general story.  But the details … Continue reading

Hamlet

So… Hamlet. There is so much that has been written about this play already, so much life sucked from it by tired schoolroom analyses, and so many interpretations of the text put onto stage and film, that a relevant discussion can prove to be very difficult.  So let me come at this entry from a … Continue reading

The Tempest

I’m starting off 2012 with this classic fantasy story, which actually holds a special place in my heart besides being an objective masterpiece of drama.  It’s the first play that I ever acted in (excluding, you know, school Christmas Pageants and the lot), playing one of the magical “people of the island” that the sorcerer Prospero commands … Continue reading

The Winter’s Tale

Prince Mamillus says early in the first Act of this play: “A sad tale’s best for winter: I have one Of sprites and goblins.”  Shortly afterwards, he falls ill and dies of shock when his mother, Queen Hermoine, is falsely accused of infidelity by King Leontes.  So begins this beautiful story of jealousy and forgiveness, with its famously unconventional structure.  … Continue reading

Two Noble Kinsmen

It is fairly accepted among scholars that Shakespeare collaborated with John Fletcher on two plays: King Henry VIII,  and Two Noble Kinsmen.  Considering that the former play was one of the worst plays  have ever read, ever, I did not have high hopes for 2NK (as I like to call it).  It was not included in the … Continue reading

Cymbeline

If you ask me what my favorite Shakespeare play is, I usually say Cymbeline.  Until recently, I sort of forgot why.  But then I read the thing again just now, and oh dear Christ it’s a wonderful play.  Really, really wonderful, with one of the era’s greatest female protagonists, opportunity for a spectacular battle sequence, … Continue reading

Twelfth Night

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done this.  I took a bit off from this Act-of-Shakespeare-a-Day Project to focus on Blunt Objects Theatre’s Halloween production, Joan the Witch, and now there’s only a few weeks left in the year.  Oh well.  Might as well jump right back into things: the play is basically a … Continue reading