Your Weekend Mission

<Cue Mission Impossible music> This week there was much to be said, though perhaps not here, on the subject of Shakespeare’s accessibility.  After all, we’ve been demonstrating it for years, there’s really no bandwagon for us to jump on. But! Just because I preach to the choir doesn’t mean that the choir can’t go out and do some good deeds. So, if you’re reading this, here’s your mission :  Bring up Shakespeare. Mention the actual word, at a minimum, somewhere out in the “regular” world where you wouldn’t normally do so (so all you lucky lucky folks who talk about Shakespeare for a living already have got to go find new converts).   Then, report back here with your stories.  Let’s see who has the best story. Over the last couple days I’ve been blanketing my town with posters for the upcoming Rebel Shakespeare show, Much Ado About Nothing.  I could walk into the random market or Post Office and stick up a poster.  I could say, “Is it ok if I hang up one of my posters here?” What I say is something more like, “Hi, I was wondering if I could hang up a poster on your community events board?  The library is doing Shakespeare for kids next week.  You like Shakespeare?  It’s one of the comedies. Much Ado About Nothing.”  All while wearing my t-shirt adorned with a big Shakespeare face, so they already saw me coming a mile away ;). Sometimes it falls on deaf ears.  Sometimes it gets me into a conversation.  Either way, people walk away from the encounter having heard the word Shakespeare. The more people that do it, the more times they’ll hear it.  It’s not a scary word.  It’s a wonderful world, and more people need to hear it more often.

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5 thoughts on “Your Weekend Mission

  1. i just got back from blanketing Amesbury with posters for the friday night 8.27 show. there is a little independent bookstore in town and the woman there came to see Othello and LOVED it. she emailed me afterwards and was just amazingly excited.

    so in going to see her today she jumped out of her seat when we walked in with the posters. she had 3 people in the store and we had a 1/2 hour long conversation about othello and much ado…. my son was with me and they asked him questions about his participation in the program.

    i'm finding that this being our fifth tour, i'm making friends when i go back each time. people are remembering us, and we're having great discussions.

    thanks for your help duane. my mission this weekend is taking my daughter to college, but shakespeare kicks off tonight at the Salem Athenaeum and we can't wait. it'll be bitter sweet, i'm sure.

  2. I tried to spread Shakespeare's name in a more literal way yesterday… and failed… twice!

    My boss got himself a new kitten and was looking for a name starting with "S". I suggested "Shakespeare". (Suggestion rejected)

    And my aunt will give birth to twins soon and is looking for names. I suggested Viola and Sebastian. When she told me that she is expecting two boys, I replied: "No problem! Shakespeare's got a solution to that: Cesario and Sebastian!" (Suggestion rejected… again)

  3. We rented Richard II (Derek Jacobi was Richard) and finally watched this weekend. My wife fell asleep.

    I was talking to some people about vacations. Some said that vacations were a chance to re-connect with one's true self. When I had a chance, I threw out that in the Tempest Shakespeare says that there is little difference between a traveler's tale and a lie. No one objected.

  4. My mother is a 49-year old native Romanian speaker of some 30 years. She's as fluent in English as she is in Romanian. She still likes checking out what I like, and so she decided to try some Shakespeare. I suggested Twelfth Night, as it was the first play which was fully accessible to me.

    Turns out she's having serious difficulties–not surprising. She's having problems following the plot (every newbie has this problem I'd wager–I was no different), but she likes the cadences and every now and then a cool line pops up that's nice out of context. We'll see how it goes.

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