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Shakespeare

Shakespeare is Everywhere

After reading The New York Times rave about The Taming of the Shrew at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, I got cranky. And I mean cranky like a five-year-old in the supermarket who wants Sugar Smacks  (which are now called “Honey” Smacks, for obvious reasons.) But I can’t go to Garrison in upstate New York to see…

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“Crush” no more?

Maybe I should stop calling it a crush. Last spring, I signed up for the Shakespeare Workout (an all-level, no-prior-experience-necessary acting class offered by Actor’s Shakespeare Project in Boston.) Since then, I’ve been to as many live performances of as many Shakespeare plays as I could get to, watched several more on video, lurked at…

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Othello in the year of Black Panther

I drove home from Providence feeling shaken up and wide-awake after seeing Trinity Repertory’s production of Othello. Three days later, I saw BlackPantherand left the multiplex feeling like I’d been to church. And ever since, the Shakespearean tragedy and the superhero blockbuster have been circling each other inside my head. Black Panther’s release was a…

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Live Theater is a Kind of Communion     (Shakespeare Crush #10)

Shakespeare isn’t easy: the vocabulary, the subplots — even the names can be stumbling blocks. Keeping the characters straight in Julius Caesar was a challenge: Cinna the conspirator and Cinna the Poet? Julius Caesar and Octavius Caesar? Marcus Brutus and Decius Brutus? But Julius Caesar was a piece of cake compared to Richard III’s roster…

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Richard The Third and Donald The Trump

This essay was first published on WBUR’s Cognoscenti Shakespeare is always timely. Last fall, I sat in on rehearsals for Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s all-female production of “Julius Caesar,” which shone an Elizabethan light on the #MeToo movement. Nothing like a bunch of women wearing daggers to deliver the message that we will be heard. In…

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#METOO and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Crush #8)

(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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Shakespeare on Harvey Weinstein (Shakespeare Crush #7 )

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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Shakespeare Crush #6 Summer Edition

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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