March 2009


Thanks to everyone who showed up to read “The Tempest” last Sunday at the library. The reading went wonderfully, I had forgotten the extent of the humor in the Stephano, Trinculo, Caliban sub-plot and that came out really nicely at the reading. Also a special thanks to first time attendees Tom Hunter and Rosie, it was nice having you at the reading!

We will be meeting to read the next play in our history sequence,  “King Henry IV, Part 1” on April 26 at 12:30 pm. Please note the earlier starting time as the play has 3041 lines in it. I will send out a reminder the beginning of the week of the reading. The play is brimming with some of the most vital characters that Shakespeare ever created including Falstaff and Hotspur, each of which the play could have conceivably been named after and I anticipate the reading will be a lot of fun!

We will also be voting in April to read one of the following tragedies at the May meeting: Coriolanus, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar.

Looking ahead a little bit, I am curious to see if anyone will be able to handle the French portions of “Henry V“, please let me know and I will make a note to assign those parts to you at the reading.

A couple of quick notes before I finish.

The Ian McKellen “King Lear” is on PBS tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 8:00 pm as part of the Great Performances series.

The Oberon Shakespeare Group is celebrating an UN-birthday party on April 23 at 7:00 pm at the Farmington Community Library with cake and coffee! If you are intrigued, please visit their blog for more details:

http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/

Prashant Andrade

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We will be meeting to read “The Tempest” on March 22 at 1:00 pm at the Plymouth District Library. We will be in the Walldorf Room. Hope to see you there!

If anyone wants to listen to a recording of the play performed by a full-ensemble cast before the meeting, please visit:

http://www.speak-the-speech.org

Speak The Speech is a non-profit audio theater company dedicated to providing freely available Shakespearean audio performances online.

Also check out the movie “Shakespeare Behind Bars“, here is a product description from Amazon:

——————–
Shakespeare Behind Bars is a film that follows an all-male Shakespearean theater company composed of convicted felons. For one year, while incarcerated at Kentucky’s Luther Luckett prison, the cast rehearse and perform a full production of Shakespeare‘s great last play, The Tempest.
The prisoners cast themselves in roles reflecting their life experiences, including the crimes for which they were convicted. As they struggle to understand the characters they are playing, they uncover startling and moving truths about themselves.
——————–

One of the main themes of the play is forgiveness, and this issue comes to the fore in the film.

Harold Goddard has an interesting idea of “The Tempest” providing a glimpse of what life would be for King Lear and Cordelia if they both survived and King Lear got his wish:

No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.

“The Tempest” is truly a beautiful play with great lyric poetry, one of my favorite quotes about the play is from Katherine Mansfield:

God knows there are desert islands enough to go round- the difficulty is to sail away from them- but dream islands …they are rare, rare.

A couple of additional notes to finish off.

The Ian McKellen “King Lear” that toured last year and that was directed by Trevor Nunn will be shown on PBS at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 as part of the “Great Performances” series. I have seen clips of this and it looked amazing.

The Oberon Shakespeare Group will be meeting on Thursday. March 19 at 7:00 pm at the Farmington Library. The group studies the authorship question among other things, please visit their blog below for an agenda for the meeting, there will be a presentation on “Measure for Measure” at this meeting:

http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/

Prashant Andrade