Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Shakespeare in the Park. Wisconsin Style!

Shakespeare in the Park. Wisconsin Style!

America’s only traveling Shakespeare in the State Parks troupe, the Summit Players are on the road for the third season with their main man Will and “The Comedy of Errors.”

From mid-June through July, the Summit Players bring Shakespeare out in the open, with free performances as well as free theater workshops at state parks and forests throughout Wisconsin.

All the words in their shows belong to Shakespeare. There are just less of them.

Founded in 2014 by a group of Marquette University theater arts majors, the Summit Players is a seven-member, nonprofit organization whose goal is to eliminate the “Shakespeare is boring” mentality by bringing exciting, unique theatre to people all over Wisconsin.

Their short, “new cuttings” of Shakespeare’s scripts become 75 minutes of mayhem, character switches, and hilarity.

The productions are appropriate for all ages, and their 45 minute workshops, held prior to each show, are aimed at kids and “fun adults” to create a fun and educational “Shakesperience” for all!

Shakespeare out of a trunk”

The focus is on the actors and the words – just like in Shakespeare’s day. Summit Players use minimal costumes and props in their productions, which in the setting of a state park brings out the use of nature in Shakespeare’s plays.

The workshops explore the natural world through the lens of Shakespeare’s words and are designed to alleviate “iambic pentajitters” with games and working with some text. The goal is to use theatre as a learning medium and introduce children to a love of language, communicating, and constructive play, while providing adults with an enjoyable family experience.

No advance registration is needed for either the workshop or the performance.
Just show up at the designated times and enjoy!

COST: Both the performance and the workshop are free. A vehicle admission sticker is required for all vehicles entering the park and can be purchased on site.

Contact: info@summitplayerstheatre.com
https://www.summitplayerstheatre.com/
https://twitter.com/summitplayers
https://www.facebook.com/summitplayerstheatre

450 Candles for William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare: Still Kickin’ It At 450 Years

shaxbirthdaygolden(dailytelegiraffe)

William Shakespeare, arguably one of the greatest writers of all time would have turned 450 years old this month, and his words play on.  A master of prose and poetry, his characters (if not always his language) stir emotions whether acted on stage or screen, or dissected in academia.

By tradition it is agreed that April 23, St. George’s Day in England, is recognized as Shakespeare’s birthday. Coincidentally it is also the date on which he died — rather like going in and out “in one fell swoop,” don’t you think?

To mark the 450th anniversary of The Bard’s birth, Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston performed Antony and Cleopatra for BBC Radio 3 on April 20th, 2014.  This new production of Shakespeare’s epic of love and power has been recorded and will be available for free listening for just one week.  Discover it for yourself here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0414fq4


Next Sunday, April 27th, BBC Radio 3 will feature Romeo and Juliet. Be forewarned, BBC has this tragedy of young love, first broadcast in 2012, rated “R.”

 

The Battle of Agincourt: A Vivid History

The harvest is in and the nights are getting longer.  Time to remember a day nearly 600 years past,  in Agincourt – made famous for all time.

The battlefield of Agincourt today.

“The nights are drawing in and kings, queens, knights, yeomen, serfs and all look into the warmth of their homes rather than the cold outside. Yet think back to the 25th October 1415 and for a small band of English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish soldiers home was a long way away.”
~ Sir Gawain

The Battle of Agincourt, an important victory of the Hundred Years’ War, took place on St. Crispin’s Day, October 25th, 1415.

King Henry and his men crossed the English Channel into France on a journey to Calais to get back disputed lands.   He and his men were exhausted and cut off from supplies by the French.  At dawn each side had set up near their respective camps.  The battle lines were about a mile apart, and between them was a freshly plowed field of mud.  A fascinating brief description of the battle strategy (including maps) can be found here.

The English were outnumbered and needed nothing short of a miracle.

“It had rained the night before. My fellow soldiers were cold and wet. The ground was muddy underfoot. I recall Sir Thomas Erpingham, the commander of the archers, wandering among this filthy soldiers, offering calm and reassuring words – his Norfolk burr whispering like a plane over elm.

I recall the king explaining to his lords the protocol of what to do should defeat occur. But I also recall him laughing in the face of adversity across the sodden field ahead of him. If we can be touched by the hand of God, then let that time be now. Within hours the French would overwhelm us – only prayers and fate could help us beneath the leaden skies of Picardy.”
Sir Gawain

“This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” ~William Shakespeare, Henry V

“Not to us, O Lord, but to your name be the Glory!”

“Yet so it was that Henry gave the instruction for our pitiful band to advance. Fortune favours the brave.” ~ Sir Gawain

“For England, Harry and St. George” ranks with Trafalgar and Waterloo in the annals of English wars.  Henry returned to London to a hero’s welcome, married the French Queen Catherine and pretty much ended the 100 years’ war.

“When I think back to that fateful day all those years ago, I sometimes wonder what might have happened had things turned out against us. And yet they didn’t. And as our good bard William Shakespeare was to write so many years later, “gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s Day.”
Sir Gawain

My dear readers, for a vivid history lesson, you simply must read Sir Gawain’s account of  The long road to Agincourt.

And…

Although Shakespeare wrote his play almost 200 years after the real events and some facts are inaccurate, he did capture the feeling of England and the historical significance, while keeping the royal character of King Henry intact.
Read more

Cry God For Harry, England, and Saint George – Unto the Breach!

St. Crispin’s Day and The Battle of Agincourt

An English illustration of the Battle of Agincourt © 1999-2004, Agincourt Computing

“This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…”

~William Shakespeare, Henry V

The Battle of Agincourt, an important victory of the Hundred Years’ War, took place on St. Crispin’s Day, October 25th, 1415.

Although Shakespeare wrote his play almost 200 years after the real events and some facts are inaccurate, he did capture the feeling of England and the historical significance, while keeping the royal character of King Henry intact.

King Henry and his men crossed the English Channel into France on a journey to Calais to get back disputed lands.   He and his men were exhausted and cut off from supplies by the French.  At dawn each side had set up near their respective camps.  The battle lines were about a mile apart, and between them was a freshly plowed field of mud.  A fascinating brief description of the battle strategy (including maps) can be found here.

The English were outnumbered and needed nothing short of a miracle.  Here is the famous St. Crispin Day’s Speech (Henry V, Act IV, Scene III) as brought to life by Kenneth Branagh.  I think, this pre-battle speech blows away most others.

“Not to us, O Lord, but to your name be the Glory!”

With boosted spirits, and with Good King Harry alongside, they go into a bloody and muddy battle.  Shakespeare’s total of lives lost is a little off, but this next scene shows the chilling aftermath of the battle.

Non nobis domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. Performed at the end of the battle of Agincourt in the movie Henry V.

The song (Non nobis, Domine) lyrics are from Psalm 115:1: “Non nobis, Domine, sed nomine tuo da Gloriam” (Not to us, O Lord, but to your name be the Glory).

“For England, Harry and St. George” ranks with Trafalgar and Waterloo in the annals of English wars.  Henry returned to London to a hero’s welcome, married the French Queen Catherine and pretty much ended the 100 years’ war.

“If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.”
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!

Indeed, these soldiers could believe it when Good King Harry said “God fought for us.”  (Henry V: Act IV, Scene 8)