Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice


As Shakespeare's plays are divided into comedies, tragedies and histories, one really has to ask: What is "The Merchant of Venice"? Shylock's ruination, his denial of the "pound of flesh," is among the more poignant - and disturbingly opaque - of the Bard's human catastrophes. Yet, it is surrounded by an almost slapstick sensibility concerning Portia's betrothal; antic, subordinate characters; and the almost obligatory mistaken-identity shtick that ends the play.
To the Letter: An exhibit at the Folger Library looks at the art of correspondence in Elizabethan England":

Monday, December 20, 2004

Teaching students to teach Shakespeare
By Tatiana Zarnowski, December 19, 2004

The college students could barely keep a straight face as they hurled eloquent insults at each other.
'Vile worm, thou wast overlooked even in thy birth,' one young woman snarled, quoting William Shakespeare's 'The Merry Wives of Windsor.'

Reciting and acting out the Elizabethan insults helps high school students relieve stress and expend energy, says Susan Biondo-Hench, an English teacher at Carlisle High School.

'When you have kids who really need to get up and get physical, this really works,' she told a group of about 20 future teachers who got a course in teaching Shakespeare to teens last month at the high school."

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Barenaked Ladies take on the Bard
at the Stratford Festival of Canada

December 8, 2004 . . . Barenaked Ladies, the Juno Award-winning Canadian pop group, will be shaking up Shakespeare in the 2005 Stratford Festival season.

The band will be writing five song settings and incidental music for the 2005 production of As You Like It, directed by Executive Director Antoni Cimolino and designed by Tony Award-winner Santo Loquasto with lighting design by Steven Hawkins and sound design by Jim Neil. This show begins previews April 27, opens June 4 and runs until October 30. The band will record the instrumental music and Festival actors will sing the songs during performances. "