Thursday, March 17, 2011

ADK Shakes T-Shirts!

A totally shameless plug for our summer season and our brand new merchandising department -- which consists of T-SHIRTS!

I'm really excited about these shirts because they are our first ever ADK Shakes merchandise. I love the grassroots feel of what we do, but it's exciting to grow with each production and each season. I feel like Season Two is a very big deal for us.

I hope you'll help celebrate with us by ordering a t-shirt! We are doing a special early-bird promo through April 1 -- and our shirts will cost only $10 each. After April 1, the price will go up to $15 -- and that will only last until May 1! After May 1, all shirts will be $20 each.

I love the design of these shirts. The colors match our web palate, for one thing! Our company logo is on the front, and we have Hungry Will on the back with a quote from this season's The Merchant of Venice: "I pray you know me when we meet again ..."

So if you'd like to pre-order, email us at with SHIRTS in the subject line. Give us the number of shirts you'd like and the sizes. We can hold your order for you until we see you this summer, or we can mail your shirts to you at an additional cost.

More info on the summer company will be coming soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

End of Spring Break Blues

I am coming into the tail-end of my spring break, and all I can feel is the pressure of spring semester, part two. 2011 is heating up, people! Tomorrow I head up to New Hampshire for my first conference as a graduate student. I believe the last conference I attended was about seven years ago. Yikes. I'll be presenting as part of panel on Digital Literacy in the Writing Center at the NEWCA Conference. That's, Northeast Writing Centers Association. Cool, right?

Once I return, I'm really excited to speak with Professor Luann Jennings's Shakespeare class about producing Shakespeare on the stage. That brings us up to Monday, 3/14. The following Sunday, Patrick and I will be traveling up to the Adirondacks to officially accept our grant from the Lower Adirondacks Regional Arts Council for this summer's festival season. This news is still amazing to me! By the end of the month, it is our goal to have the summer season fully cast (sorry for the wait, everyone).

In April, we'll be finalizing our performance venues, beginning a round of press releases, and have all scripts out for memorization. (This means I need to finish our Merchant of Venice script.) For school, I have a short paper due on Joyce's Ulysses, a final paper proposal for my Medieval Romance class, an annotated bibliography due for 19th Century, a presentation for 19th C, our St. John's Graduate Conference where I'll be presenting a paper on George Eliot, and thankfully Easter Break. The first week in May is when all three of my term papers are due, clocking in at 20-25 pages each.

To have this all listed in one place actually feels slightly less overwhelming to me. And hopefully it will explain my sporadic posting from now until the middle of May. Thank you, dear readers, for following my goings-on and I look forward to more productive posting this summer.

You can continue to follow our updates on Facebook (Adirondack Shakespeare Company), on Twitter (@adkshakes), and of course at our website I promise a lovely post introducing our Summer Festival Season coming soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bookend Project :: post-production

I am so pleased to announce that we have successfully closed The Bookend Project and made it to spring break. This is the first project conceived strictly from scholarly interests of mine, and it has been just an extraordinary journey since September. It's not over yet. Over break, I am revising my seminar paper into a full-fledged article that will be published later this year. I will also be working it into a conference proposal, so it's not really getting put to bed yet. Which is good! I'm not ready to let this one go. I feel as though I have only just begun to answer how Shakespeare's revenge play alters from the time he writes Titus Andronicus to his late masterpiece of The Tempest.

Directing these plays, rather than acting in them, I think has also distanced me from answering this question. In some ways it will be easier to think about it with some critical distance, but in other ways it is more difficult. I experienced these plays less viscerally than I've ever experienced a RAW play. I didn't live it. (I think it's also one of the reasons why I feel less post-RAW depression, too!) I feel like an outsider, a little lost without having a perspective from within the play. I am in need of a focal point, a way into the play, and now I'm faced with the question of whose perspective I will choose.

My seminar paper focuses on Lavinia and Caliban as sites of violence in the two plays, but perhaps in my revision I will think about the perpetrators as well. Here's a peek at the current version of my introduction.

Economics of Language in Titus Andronicus and The Tempest
Audio, Sexual, Linguistic, and Textual Currencies
In the Bookend Project, a dual theatrical production of Titus Andronicus and The Tempest, I aim to examine the arc of Shakespeare’s revenge play from his earliest tragedy to his final masterpiece. The Bookend Project employs the same cast for both plays -- thirteen actors in Titus Andronicus and twelve actors in The Tempest. My overall purpose in doubling actors across the two plays is to explore similar and oppositional ways that various characters experience vengeance. Whenever constructing doubles within a single show or across multiple shows, I look to forge unusual connections between characters. At first they might seem intensely oppositional or perhaps even completely unrelated, but upon closer examination a connection can be made. I have chosen in the Bookend Project to double the roles of Lavinia in Titus Andronicus and Caliban in The Tempest. In this paper, I will be exploring the doubling of Lavinia and Caliban in terms of each character’s relationship to speech and language. There is an economics at work in how they use speech and language, within the language itself (speech vs. silence), as well as how  different currencies of sexuality and violence are incorporated into it. I suggest that a certain amount of “audio capital” exists for each character in whether they speak or whether they are silent (or silenced). Connotations of sexuality and violence in language are accumulated in the characters’ speech as capital. Such capital would be valued in exchange as a kind of “currency,” though I have spent more time examining the characters’ accumulation of this capital, rather than speculating upon what might be gained in exchange for it. The larger aim of the Bookend Project is to illuminate how the notion of vengeance changes from Shakespeare’s earliest revenge play and is utterly transformed in The Tempest. I hope in this paper to open an avenue of exploration specifically related to the economics of language and silence in these two plays, how sexuality and violence are used as linguistic currencies, and begin to suggest how the economics of language can transform vengeance to forgiveness in Shakespeare’s revenge play.
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