Fairytales feed our minds with the enchanted thoughts about finding a situation where our wishes are fulfilled and we live "happily ever after." Contrary to this belief, happiness is not something to go out and find.
"Truth hath better deeds than words to grace it." Such is the unlikely thesis of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, penned by one of posterity's greatest playwrights to reflect on the fickleness of lust and persistence of love.
Humanities, the arts, words, culture, character, the language that people really speak when they speak to each other -- oh, these are creatively deep waters for somebody like Anna Deavere Smith to swim through.
I can't even write about Mel Ryane's memoir without falling apart laughing. This hilarious account of a former actress naively volunteering to teach Shakespeare to third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders at a Los Angeles public school is a delicious read for readers of all stripes.
In the program's statement of company purpose, there's a sentence about the fun for them and the audience of "inciting laughter and chaos." There's nothing wrong with inciting laughter, but they might be advised to keep on a closer eye on the chaos.
A story in which a 13-year-old girl is seduced by a deceiving cad who turns out to be a killer, then is convinced by a prevaricating priest to fake her own death, and finally ends up committing suicide for real -- this should not be a global model of a love story.
As time goes on, perhaps even the CollegeBoard will realize that they should focus more on modern applications than classical ones, and perhaps one day more of the novels high school students read can be similar to contemporary novels and works.
The blood in Kneehigh's Tristan & Yseult is less than what's in Tamburlaine Parts I and II and is stylized. Emma Rice, the company founder and adapter here of the Cornish myth has something other than seeing red about which she wants to discourse.
It is my hope that these combined essays of a class of NYC 5th graders may serve as a palette cleanser for those of us who may at times be guilty of taking the theatrical arts (or ourselves) a bit too seriously.
Put Daniel Sullivan together with a great play and a highly-respected, award-winning actor like John Lithgow and you're likely to get an illuminating and theatrical rendition of the work, with flashes of lightning for sure.