SHAKESPEARE ALOUD

Edward III – Act II, Scene 2 – set of Romeo & Juliet

I thought it would look a bit better than this, but obviously the lighting is awful. If it makes any difference it gets a lot brighter later in the scene. The set is struck behind me as I read. Just a gentle reminder that we’re getting day-to-day stuff, day-to-day energies, real moments. There are janitors yapping about during parts of it, stage managers talking. We just opened our production of Romeo & Juliet here today, and I must say it went rather well. It’s a Shakespeare Now production, which in this case means we do a paid but non-union production for high schoolers to bus in and experience. So they were a bit rowdy but I try to remind myself that this experience is closer to Shakespeare’s original audience than the one that shuts up and protects silence. Punchdrunk theatre company in the UK calls this ‘enforced obedience’ which I find a bit strong, but certainly provocative. I think it’s a learned behavior for us to be quiet, and to appreciate the fruits of that and be annoyed by the violations. Mahler apparently was the real source of that behavior on the classical scene; he was notorious for looking over his shoulder and scolding chatting audience members and latecomers. He taught his base how to take music seriously in the way that he took music seriously. Which unless you suspect otherwise was very very seriously.
But I digress.
I am at the moment captured by this play, and want to continue pursuing all its many fruits…

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