What Have You Seen?

Once again this week I got into the “See it, don’t read it!” debate with someone, and my faithful readers know that I weigh in on the “read it” side of this argument for the following very simple reason:

“Hey, I don’t know anything about Richard III, I think I’ll read it.”
 “Don’t read it, go see it!”
“Oh, ok.  Is it playing?”
 “…well, no.”

And then people immediately jump into the defense of going to rent a DVD, even though you all know perfectly well that if there was a choice between seeing it live on stage and seeing a movie version, you wouldn’t even have to think about it.  You only support movies because you know that “go see it as it was meant to be seen” is not a realistic argument, and you’ll accept movies as a substitute.

But, I’m not here to make the argument again.  I want to try something.  Tell me, in the comments, which Shakespeare plays you have seen on stage?

I’ve seen:  Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Othello, R+J, Shrew, AYLI, All’s Well, Dream, Much Ado, Comedy of Errors, LLL, Tempest, Winter’s Tale.

14 plays.  You’ll notice that the histories are sadly underrepresented.  Now, with more effort I’m sure I could add maybe half a dozen plays to that list, but that still only puts me in the range of about half.  I’d make the case that the only way I’m ever going to see some of those plays is if I make it a primary goal in my life to do so, and am willing to travel extensively to make it happen.

Most people in the world will never have the opportunity to see most of Shakespeare’s plays on stage.  Every single literate person in the world has the opportunity to read them.

TL;DR – Read King John.

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9 thoughts on “What Have You Seen?

  1. List of plays that we've seen?

    We saw Classic Stage's Midsummer last evening (with Anthony Heald, Bebe Neuwirth, et al.)

    But in the last several years we've seen:

    All's Well That Ends Well
    As You Like It
    The Comedy of Errors
    Love's Labour's Lost
    Measure for Measure
    The Merchant of Venice
    The Merry Wives of Windsor
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Much Ado About Nothing
    The Taming of the Shrew
    The Tempest
    Twelfth Night
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona
    The Two Noble Kinsmen
    The Winter's Tale
    Henry IV, Part 1
    Henry IV, Part 2
    Henry V
    Henry VI, Part 1
    Henry VI, Part 2
    Henry VI, Part 3
    Richard III
    Romeo and Juliet
    Coriolanus
    Titus Andronicus
    Julius Caesar
    Macbeth
    Hamlet
    King Lear
    Othello
    Antony and Cleopatra
    Cymbeline

  2. All RSC

    Julius Ceasar x 2
    Hamlet
    Loves labours Lost
    The Tempest
    Twelfth Night
    Romeo and Juliet
    Merchant of Venice

    The Globe

    King Lear
    Timon of Athens

    Other

    Twelfth Night x 2

  3. Antony and Cleopatra
    As You Like It

    The Comedy of Errors

    Edward III
    Hamlet

    Henry IV, Part 1

    Henry IV, Part 2

    Henry V

    Julius Caesar

    King Lear

    Love's Labour's Lost

    Macbeth 

    Measure for Measure 

    The Merchant of Venice

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Othello

    Richard II
    Richard III

    Romeo and Juliet

    The Taming of the Shrew

    The Tempest 

    Titus Andronicus 

    Twelfth Night

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    The Winter's Tale 


    But only if we're counting shows I've been in as well.

  4. This is almost cheating when you work at a Shakespeare theatre. 😉

    I *have* seen, live, full-length, and in person: All's Well (x2), AYLI (x3, I think), Comedy of Errors (x2), Cymbeline, Measure (x2), Midsummer (x many), Much Ado (x12, at least), Pericles (x2), Taming (x3?), Tempest, 12th Night (x4?), Two Gents (x3), Winter's Tale; Antony & Cleopatra, Hamlet (x several), Lear (x3?), Macbeth (x many), Othello (x2), Romeo and Juliet (x many), Timon of Athens, Titus (x 3?); and all 10 histories (several more than once)!

    I have seen, on video or in a shortened form (1 hour version in our youth summer camps): Love's Labour's Lost, Troilus & Cressida, Julius Caesar.

    I have not seen: Merry Wives, Merchant, Coriolanus.

    And of those I haven't seen or haven't seen in full form, I'll get to see 3 of them in the upcoming year. 🙂

    I sort of wish I'd kept a better list starting when I was younger — Mom and I used to do these summer Shakespeare tours, where we'd hit pretty much everything playing in Virginia over the summer, but my memory fails me as to how many times I've seen some of the more popular ones.

  5. I've seen 16:
    – Antony and Cleopatra
    – As You Like It
    – Cymbeline
    – Hamlet
    – Henry V
    – Julius Caesar
    – Macbeth
    – Merchant of Venice
    – A Midsummer Night's Dream
    – Much Ado about Nothing
    – Othello
    – Richard III
    – Romeo and Juliet
    – The Tempest
    – Twelfth Night
    – Two Gentlemen of Verona

    I have acted in 4:
    – The Comedy of Errors (Luciana)
    – King John (Eleanor/Salisbury)
    – Macbeth (Lady Macbeth)
    – The Winter's Tale (twice: Paulina & Perdita)

    I have done scenes from 11:
    – All's Well That Ends Well (Diana)
    – As You Like It (Rosalind)
    – Comedy of Errors (Adriana)
    – Cymbeline (Imogen)
    – Hamlet (Ophelia)
    – King Lear (Goneril)
    – Love's Labours Lost (Princess of France)
    – Richard III (Elizabeth)
    – Romeo and Juliet (Juliet)
    – Twelfth Night (Viola)
    – Two Gentlemen of Verona (Julia)

    Not a ton yet… But I plan to live long enough to see and be in them all. 😉

  6. I've been very fortunate, especially since I live in the D.C. area, home to the Shakespeare Theatre and Folger Shakespeare Library. I've seen:

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (3 times)
    As You Like It (2 times)
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Anthony and Cleopatra
    Hamlet (2 times)
    Cymbeline
    Richard III (2 times)
    Henry V
    All's Well That Ends Well
    The Comedy of Errors
    Love's Labour's Lost
    The Tempest
    The Taming of the Shrew
    Measure for Measure
    The Merry Wives of Windsor
    Romeo and Juliet

  7. I have seen:
    Julius Caesar
    King Lear
    Hamlet
    Macbeth
    Othello
    Romeo and Juliet
    Antony and Cleopatra
    Coriolanus
    Pericles
    Merchant of Venice
    Twelfth Night
    Alls Well
    Tempest
    Richard II
    Richard III
    Henry IV pt 1 & 2 (squashed together)–great Falstaff by Kevin Kline

  8. Seen:
    The Tempest (twice)
    Twelfth Night (twice)
    The Taming of the Shrew
    The Comedy of Errors
    Macbeth
    Romeo and Juliet
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    That's all I can think of. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting one. I guess I should include plays I've been in, too.
    Acted in:
    A scene from Two Gentlemen of Verona (Launce, I think, but I was like 7 and I don't really remember)
    The Merry Wives of Windsor (random extra townsperson)
    The Comedy of Errors (Egeon and Second Merchant and Dr. Pinch)
    Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt)
    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hermia)
    Twelfth Night (Maria)
    Hamlet (Ophelia)

  9. I haven't seen too many yet, but one of my life goals is to see and read all of them 🙂

    Seen:
    Macbeth
    As You Like It
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Romeo and Juliet
    Hamlet

    Been in:
    Hamlet: Francisco
    Twelfth Night: Captain
    Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice

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