(Shakespeare Crush #8) It started with The Shakespeare Workout, a six-week class open to all, which turned out to be a full-body immersion in the works of the Greatest Writer in the History of the World. Taught by two of the founding members of Boston’s Actors Shakespeare Project, I rolled on the floor, breathed from…

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The daily dispatches about sexual harassment and abuse have unleashed a parade of celebrity perp walks, howls of denial, shame-faced confessions, moronic mewlings (“How am I supposed to know the line between flirting and harassment?”) and — we knew it was coming — “The War on Men!” Good people are shocked — shocked! — to…

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Why does Shakespeare still fascinate? What can a 400-year-old play have to say in the age of Weinsteinian rapaciousness, Trumpian hypocrisy, government deadlock and battles over the place of mercy in the court? For 15 years, questions like these have been aired and enacted at “Shakespeare and the Law,” a coproduction of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company–…

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The final session of the Shakespeare Workout was not as terrifying as I’d feared. From day one, we knew would have to present our scene and monologue — memorized — before a small audience of well-wishers. The teachers, Jennie Israel and Paula Plum, refused to call it a performance. We’d just be “sharing.” Yeah, right. When…

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This was taken today, September 2, Labor Day weekend, 2017. I was asleep, when my friend, Ben Loeterman, took this photo. I NEVER take naps. Okay, I nap when I am sick in bed with fever and chills. But never on the beach. Until today. Perhaps this a breakthrough. Or maybe it was just the…

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I went to graduate school in English because I loved fiction and poetry. I left graduate school because, in the words of poet Billy Collins: “…all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find…

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We were lined up in rows, face to face, with a stranger. One of the two instructors of the Shakespeare Workout, Paula Plum, told us to address the following sentences to our partners: I like you. I love you. I adore you. I worship you.” We were to say this, taking turns, while looking one another…

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My six-week “Shakespeare Workout “was taught by the Jennie Israel and Paula Plum,* founding members of the Actors Shakespeare Project. ASP began in 2004 with the goal of closing the distance between audiences and Shakespeare’s plays. Since then, productions have been mounted without elaborate sets or costumes in non-traditional community venues: churches and schools and such.…

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The Actors Shakespeare Project is a Boston-area theater company that mounts its productions in venues hither (Brighton High School), thither (Cambridge Multicultural Center), and yon (Church of the Covenant). I’ve seen many of their productions, support the company, and read their emails for news about upcoming plays. A few months ago, the ASP message line read, “Join…

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