Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thinking Ahead

In these early years of ADK Shakes's growth, it's a trial to figure out the seasonal rhythm. I feel like I need to be thinking a whole year ahead (or more) -- constantly. As soon as we closed our first summer season last August, I was already thinking ahead to Summer 2011. The Bookend Project goes up in just a few weeks, so of course I am thinking about our entire 2012 season and beyond.

What I love about being in school at the same time as being helmsman for choosing an ADK Shakes season is that I have the opportunity to delve into problems and questions both as a scholar and a theatre practitioner. The Bookend Project has been a consideration largely of violence and revenge. How do these things change over the course of Shakespeare's career as a playwright? Obviously this is a Bookend Project, so I only have the opportunity to stage the bookends of his career.  Someday I hope to consider the whole arc with more of the "middle"-- Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado, etc.

At the moment, however, I think I'm going to jump ship from the primarily revenge-oriented question. I am just not sure I want to spend the next decade with it. I am already thinking in terms of a dissertation project -- which will definitely take up (at least) the next decade of my life! What do I want to spend the next 10 years living and breathing and sleeping and eating and thinking about constantly? A revenge project would be pretty cool. But I'm not ready to commit. Sorry, revenge.

Battle of Agincourt.
Henry V = Ultimate King?
In the very broadest of terms, I am thinking about gender relations (in which cross-gender casting will figure heavily), power and politics, and the nature of kingship (which incidentally is also a big question in my Medieval Romance class -- probably more on that throughout the semester). At some point, I also want to begin looking outside the works of Shakespeare alone and possibly outside the Early Modern/Renaissance period. For this reason, I'm really excited to delve into the question of kingship in my Medieval class. I'll be reading around in a lot of Arthurian Romance and thinking about Arthur as the ultimate king.

I won't leave you without another plug for the Bookend Project. There's buzz going around the St. John's campus -- and St. John's students get in for FREE with their Storm Card. So to my theatre-going public, reserve your tickets now for $12 at adkshakes.ticketleap.com. Otherwise, it's $15 at the door! Don't miss it! And of course, come February 27, it will be full steam ahead towards Summer 2011.

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