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

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

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

The Merchant of Venice

So, remember when Two Gentlemen of Verona had a fairly nonchalant stance on rape?  Well, Merchant of Venice has a similar problem with anti-Semetism.  However, Merchant has two incredibly fascinating and therefore redeeming characters: Shylock, the Jewish villain of the play, and Portia, one of Shakespeare’s best female characters ever.  Yeah, she’s racist, which is … Continue reading

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Well, I’m not sure what I was expecting from the title, but this play is really sad… Really, lovely, but really also sad.  Technically speaking, it’s not even a comedy, since comedies are expected to end in a wedding.  But it certainly isn’t a tragedy, either.  There is a category of “Problem Plays” that scholars … Continue reading

King John

What a splendid play.  I actually directed King John a few years back when I was in college, using masked live actors and shadow puppets.  It was pretty awesome. But it was great reading this play again, simply because I could rediscover a lot of fun things that I cut out of my edit of … Continue reading