Shakespeare via Portal

Ok, this is pretty cool.  You want to perform Shakespeare.  So does your buddy, only he’s 1600 miles away.  Not a problem! Coventry University and University of Tampere in Finland have created a giant window where the actors can see each other.

In a world of Facetime and Google Hangouts I suppose the underlying technology is not that exciting, but the application is very cool.  CoulProspero, Miranda and Ariel from The Tempest by William Shakespeared I do the same thing with my iPad?  No, not really. We’re talking about full body images, right there on the stage.  Imagine if Sirius Black fell through the curtain in whatever Harry Potter book that was, only now he’s standing there looking out at you from the other side, and you can have a conversation. Neat!  I suppose I could have come up with a more apt Shakespeare reference, but J.K.Rowling’s the one that gave us that easy example :).

What are the practical limits?

The article made it sound like one side was doing the performing and the other was doing some critiquing, but the video shows them interacting in the dialogue.  But that of course begs the question of physical interaction.  Does the whole thing go out the window when you’re supposed to run the virtual player through with an unbated and envenomed blade?

Maybe we could use it for ghosts, or other ayrie spirits? How about Caesar’s ghost, or Hamlet’s father?  I guess I’d have to see it. What’s coming to mind is that if it’s just a flat plane, can you only see the actor straight on?  How do you meaningfully project that to the audience?  I suppose we could get to the point where we put it on a little remote control scooter and drive it around the stage (there are iPad robots that do exactly that), but would that be ridiculously corny?  Maybe if we just embed it into the back wall and then treat it like part of the scenery?  I’ve never directed a Shakespeare production, I’m just brainstorming randomly.

How would you use this?

What do you think?  If you had this technology, Shakespeare directors, how might you use it?  (Obviously it’s a new thing and we don’t know the limits of it – so assume there aren’t any!)

ShakespeareGeek.com is Dead. Long Live ShakespeareGeek.com!

Hello, world!  If you’re seeing this, that means I’ve gone ahead and pulled a trigger that I’ve had my finger on for several years now.  When I started ShakespeareGeek.com back in 2005, I used the free service known as “Blogger”.  If anybody’s been around with me that long you might even remember that the original name was “Such Shakespeare Stuff” and we lived at http://suchshakespearestuff.blogspot.com.

Fast forward 10 years and almost 3000 posts and it had gotten a little cramped.  The rules for what makes up a good web experience changed on us, and I found it frequently hard to keep up. Which, in turn, made it more effort for me to put out the content I wanted to at the level I wanted. Which ultimately resulted in less content, which made me sad, and the downward spiral would continue.

But on the flip side we had lots of people linking to us, and for some queries ShakespeareGeek.com is on the first page of Google results, and that is not something you just walk away from!  So I’ve agonized over the decision for a long long time about when to switch from Blogger to WordPress.  I didn’t know what would break, or how much effort would be required to fix it.

That’s like saying I can’t ever move to a new house because some dishes might break, or I’ll forget which box holds my spare phone charger. Sometimes you just had to make it happen.

Once More, Dear Friends, Once More

And here we are!  Thank you all for taking the ride with me for so long.  It seems like only yesterday I started the site because I had no one to talk to about Shakespeare, and wanted to light a little candle and see how far it might throw its beams.  And just look at us now.  There’s over ten thousand people watching on Twitter and Facebook for this site alone, and many of them are running their own little corners of the Shakespeareverse.  Talk amongst yourselves, make some friends. I bet you have a lot in common :)!  Who knows where we’ll all be ten plus years from now?

So once again welcome to the new ShakespeareGeek.com.  My apologies if some stuff broke while I get my house in order and start unpacking the boxes.  I hope you all like the new place!

ShakespeareGeek.com original banner
June, 2005 – February, 2017

Which Play Is The Most Romantic?

Going over edits for my Shakespeare wedding quotes book, I’m curious which play provided the most romantic quotes.  That’s a fairly arbitrary measure, of course, but it’s an interesting question. I’m not thinking of the story line. I mean, which play has the most passages that you could pull out of context and use elsewhere, and still have them sound romantic?
Might Twelfth Night be Shakespeare's most romantic play?From where I sit, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream both have a great deal of stuff to say on the subject of love and romance.  But they’re both … light? about it.  Neither, in my book, expresses the sort of ups-and-downs that come with what love’s really all about.  Don’t get me wrong, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is damned near perfection from some angles, but half the time the lovers are in the grip of a magic potion and in love with the wrong person.  As You Like It I find just too corny.  Cute, but corny. Life’s not as easy as that one makes it out to be.

I think I’ll put my money on Twelfth Night. I love the discussion we had on music being the food of love.  Orsino has got some amazing insight about what love’s really all about, and that place where it can actually cause you pain, and yet you still want more of it.

“They are in the very wrath of love, clubs cannot part them.”

“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”