January 23, 2004

The Shadow Council Players, entering stage left . . .

Our title this evening comes to you courtesy of Ardith. And I say unto you:

Friends, I consider it now my most worthy and sacred duty to inform you all of a blessed spectacle, (which it has been to your utmost disadvantage, and shall be your eternal regret, to have missed) which hath transpired this very evening.

But I'm not going to keep talking like that. Because I don't want to. It all started when Wheeler spent about 4 hours in a classroom with Dr. Batts over the course of a week and a half. And Dr. Batts did speak a multitude of words without meaning, and Wheeler's cup did run over and spill out open the very stones, which did cry out in anguish, and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Oh, yeah. Said I wasn't going to talk like that. So anyway, he beats us over the head until our vision gets all blurry with the fact that Shakespeare's plays were very decidedly not written to be read, but rather to be performed. I think I've heard this from him in excess of 20 times during various class periods. Then, once we finally begin one of the plays, he assigns all of the reading to be done outside of class . . . by ourselves. My recommendation at this point is that he be summarily executed . . . But he won't be. So my immediate problem remained unsolved: How to not just be stuck re-reading plays I've already read.

Well, of course I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but wasn't sure that it would work out. I waited until Dr. Hood gave us a break in the midst of Honors Shame (thus it has been dubbed by Wilson, and by that name shall it henceforth be known) this evening. At that time I asked Wilson if he was free after class, and if he would be interested in rounding up a few people and doing the first act of Hamlet with me.

He was interested, and lo and behold, who should we meet as we stepped out of the classroom at 10:00 but Moore and Gallagher!

"Aha!" says I to myself. "Fate smiles upon me!" So we collared the both of them and I led them to the multitude of copies of Hamlet which are to be found in the library, and we pawed through them and selected three volumes that looked readable. Then we marched to the front, they checked out their books, and we headed for Longview Hall lobby and dove right in. During the course of the reading we were joined by Scott and Sharon, each of them running by the library for their own copy, and to make a long story short, we have just completed Act III at 12:45.

Devilish good fun. I took the liberty of snagging first pick of which part(s) to play, since I'm kind of doing this for class, and the other roles fell as we saw fit. Everyone, of course, picked up bit parts here and there. I played Horatio and Polonius. Gallagher played Laertes, Guildenstern, and . . . Queen Gertrude. Wilson played King Claudius, and the "First Player" . . . and Ophelia briefly, until Sharon arrived. Scott played Rosencratz. And Moore ended up as Hamlet, which was good, since Sharon showed up to play Ophelia.

The general award of the night goes to Gallagher for his performance as the Queen. If you've seen Life of Brian, he sounded like Brian's mother . . . like, exactly. It was oh, so good. I was also particularly fond of Wilson's speeches before Hamlet as the Player. I myself am particularly fond of Polonius' part, especially in Act II and I really threw myself into it and had a lot of fun with it.

And so, as I say, we seem to have hit upon rather a good thing here. My program for this season, as set forth by the syllabus, is as follows:


Romeo and Juliet

King Lear

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Henry IV, Part One

The Taming of the Shrew

Add to that whatever other random play(s) we wish to throw in, if we're of a mind to do so, and . . . yay. I am pleased.

Now I need to pull out all the freaking random quotes from Act I for class tomorrow. Plus do my reading for English Lit II (only six pages) and the reading for Creation. *sigh*

Posted by Jared at January 23, 2004 01:25 AM | TrackBack