Wait You What? Why? [ A Geeklet Story ]

It feels weird still telling geeklet stories when one of the geeklets is in college, but traditions must be followed! It’s fascinating to look at how the conversations and stories have evolved over the years.

So my daughter’s off to college (second year, actually) and last night she got to hang out with the Shakespeare club. Naturally, I had to speak with her this morning and get the scoop.

“We actually didn’t talk much about Shakespeare,” she told me. “It was a lot more getting to know each other stuff. Oh, but I did learn, the production this year is Hamlet.”

I’m of two minds. “Really?” I start with, “Of all the plays? What are they going to say about Hamlet that hasn’t been said a million times already?” But, reconsidering, “If you want to get immersed in Shakespeare, Hamlet’s going to be one of the best choices. Sometimes they’ll go off and do a Comedy of Errors or a Two Gentlemen of Verona or something, but all you get out of those is the laughs. Something like a Hamlet is where you can really spend all the time getting into the details of how you’re going to tell it, and why.”

We talk briefly about “gender-bent” productions and the difference between “a woman playing Hamlet” and “playing Hamlet as a woman.”

“I’ll send you resources,” I continue. “Sarah Bernhardt famously played Hamlet back in the 1800s. There’s even video.”

The conversation continues, and then she drops a bomb on me. “Last night I was reading Taming of the Shrew, and that ending is just …”

“Hold on,” I say, “Pause. Back up. You were doing what?”

“Reading Taming of the Shrew?”

“Before or after you met with the Shakespeare club? Something came up in conversation?”

“No, before.”

“Why?”

“I wanted to refresh myself on the story.”

I’m momentarily speechless, a rare event in this Shakespeare-related universe. “You’re telling me that, of your own accord, you said hey I think I’ll catch up on my Shakespeare and decided to re-read Shrew?”

“Well, yeah. Not the whole thing, not in one night. Mostly the ending.”

We then talk so long about the ending of that one, the ending of Midsummer, the ending of Merchant, that I eventually have to go to a meeting and put a halt to the conversation.

I think it was probably fourteen years ago? That I was tucking in a cute little curly-headed five-year-old girl who needed a bedtime story and I thought, “What the heck, never too young to learn about Shakespeare.”

Look how far we’ve come. I can’t wait to see what comes next. But I tell you right now, documented for the record, that if any of my kids end up on a stage delivering lines, I’m not sure my heart will be able to take it.

2 thoughts on “Wait You What? Why? [ A Geeklet Story ]

  1. Scott Slotterbeck says:

    Duane, I’d like your last name or at least an initial. I am citing you in a thesis I’m writing for law school. The paper is on the Age of Consent, and as you know, a dozen states or so have ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws, and I needed the ages of both of these characters.

    Thanks!

  2. This blog post resonated with me: my older daughter is 15 now, and she’s been studying Romeo & Juliet in her freshman year of high school. We have had several great discussions about the plot of R&J, why it’s worth reading, how she likes Macbeth and Julius Caesar better, and what she thinks of modernized Shakespeare productions. She and I have been volunteering at our local Shakespeare festival for a few years now, and she seems to really enjoy it. So fulfilling to be able to pass my love of Shakespeare on to my girls. (I haven’t really succeeded in getting my younger daughter, age 10, interested yet, but I’m gonna try!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *