OK, finished Act One last night… very short act, two scenes.
Of course, this is a very short play… by my count (and for my count, I’m using the Pelican Shakespeare, edited by Frances, E Dolan… and I plan to use the Pelicans for the entire series, just to be consistent), Comedy has 1766 lines, the least of any Shakespeare play. (to put this in perspective, the character [not the play, but just the character] of Hamlet has over 1550 lines himself alone…)
Continue reading Act One, and some quick thoughts… like “long lost, oh, brother”
And so we begin… 36 plays in 36 months…
And The Comedy of Errors begins with Egeon, pleading to the Duke of Ephesus:
Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall
And by the doom of death end woes and all.
He’s not pleading for his life, but for his death, a death to “end woes and all.”
THIS is a comedy?
... and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time...
— Macbeth V.v.19-21
Or at least:
The clock is slow... I don't feel tardy
–Van Halen, “Hot for Teacher”
Either way, I can’t wait for tomorrow. The Comedy of Errors text sits on my desk, almost mocking me… I’m waiting for tomorrow even to open it up… haven’t even cracked it open to read the intro… haven’t even read the section on it in Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare… don’t want to cheat and start early… but I’m giddy, like tomorrow is Christmas… there are times I actually rub my hands together in giddy anticipation!
See you all tomorrow, and we’ll begin to read and start this experiment!
The name of the book is You Can’t Go Home Again. And for me that may be right.
Continue reading Enough with the Background Already: HHS
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Welcome to our first podcast. It’s a little re-purposed from some of our first week’s entries, but it gives a pretty solid overview of what we’re doing and why… and a hint of where we’re going with all this.
Continue reading Podcast the First: Introduction
Ran into a former student from OHS last night in Aaron Bros… didn’t know her at first, but she recognized me (part of that whole ce-leper-ty status Lisa says all teachers have: part celebrity, part leper). When I introduced Lisa to her, she told my wife (unprompted) that she had taken an English class from me, but she lost interest when we hit Shakespeare… “It was too complicated,” she said. “Still is.”
Kinda ironic given the launch of this venture.
So all that stuff I wrote earlier in the week? Guess that was shot through the prism of golden idealized nostalgia…
Just a guess, but I don’t think she’ll be joining us for this endeavor.
The thing about being a new young teacher is that they load you down with extra-curricular activities because you can’t say no.
Continue reading Can I Have a Little More Background, Please: OSF
“Let’s put on a show!”
cue the Mickey Rooney / Judy Garland reference machine (btw, Rooney played Puck in a 1935 film, that also included JAMES CAGNEY AS BOTTOM… I’ve never seen it, but just thinking about Cagney as Bottom makes me want to…)
OK. But how and what?
Continue reading A Lot More Background: A Night with the Bard
There is nothing like being a fresh, young teacher. No wife. No kids. Nothing to do but to lesson plan and grade papers.
[yeah, looking back on it, I probably was a brutal bastard to have as a teacher back then… sorry, guys]
Continue reading No Longer Just a Little Background: Young Gun
I didn’t go to UCLA to become an English teacher. My goal as I headed to Westwood was to be the next Francis Coppola (a UCLA alum), not the next Bill Lindquist.
Continue reading A Little More Background: Bruin Bard
I’m a blessed guy, Shakespearean-ly speaking. I had a great introduction to the Bard by my high school freshman teacher, Bill Lindquist at Hueneme High School.
He made Shakespeare seem positively ILLICIT. On the day we started Romeo and Juliet, he had us open our literature texts to the start of the play. We read the first half of the first scene, then he brought us to an abrupt, almost angry stop. He passed out Romeo and Juliet books, paperbacks, and had us look at the same scene.
“What do you notice?”
Hands shot up… “stuff” was missing.
Lindquist wrote the word “unexpurgated” on the board then explained to us that the anthology had been expurgated, had been cleaned up for our young eyes and minds.
Continue reading A Little Background: Lucky Boy
Fascinating lecture from the Royal Shakespeare Company re: pronunciation.
Writing yesterday’s installment got me to thinking.
I miss the reading of the plays.
I miss the teaching of the plays.
But the think I think I miss the most is the discussion of the plays… the free and spirited exchange of ideas.
Continue reading A Change in Plans?
OK, you’re probably asking,
“So, why, oh egotistical one, why are you doing this?”
Continue reading Manifesto (or “And, why–exactly–are we doing this?”)
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Let’s read every play–from the earliest, The Comedy of Errors, to the last, The Tempest–one per month. Thirty-six plays, three years, ending with one of my favorites around the time of my son Kyle’s high school graduation (“Our revels now are ended,” indeed).
Continue reading OK, so what are we starting here…