Free Folgers Birthday Lecture Tonight: Recipes for Thought: Shakespeare and the Art of the Kitchen

This is a little bit of a late notice, but if you are looking to do something tonight in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, the Folgers has something for ya.

Wendy Wall, a Professor of English Literature at Northwestern University, delivers the annual birthday lecture entitled Recipes for Thought: Shakespeare and the Art of the Kitchen.

Wendy Wall has a wide-range of interests, which include editorial theory, gender, national identity, the history of authorship, Renaissance poetry, food studies, housework, theatrical practice, and Jell-O. Professor Wall is author of Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance and Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama, which was a finalist for the James Russell Lowell prize awarded by the MLA and a 2002 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award Winner. A former trustee for the Shakespeare Association of America, she is currently at work on a book entitled Strange Kitchens: Knowledge and Taste in English Recipe Books, 1550-1750.

Sponsored by the Folger Institute’s Center for Shakespeare Studies, this lecture is free and open to the public.

Folger Elizabethan Theatre
Monday, Apr 25 at 8pm
Tickets: Free

Link: http://www.folger.edu/woSummary.cfm?woid=662

Don’t take Shakespeare in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area for granted!

1993 – 2011: The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival Closes it’s Doors – Who’s Next

One year ago you could have enjoyed Shakespeare’s birthday by seeing Hamlet performed by the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. I’m sorry to say that this will no longer be possible, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival has closed it doors for good. “It was strictly a financial decision,” Peter Toran, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival Board president said. Started in 1993, they had worked hard to bring professional levels of Shakespeare to the Washington DC area. Last winter, Richard III came and went. And with that, they are gone forever.

Unfortunately I don’t think this will be the last Shakespeare Festival to close. County and State budgets are tight, and donations are drying up. I’ve heard these issues from more then one place. But when the economy goes south it seems the first be affected when the axe falls, is the Arts.

Factorys winters tale - Leontes (Ian Rogers) and Hermione (Bess Kaye)

Factorys The Winters Tale - Leontes (Ian Rogers) and Hermione (Bess Kaye)

BUT! We don’t have to let that happen to another Company! Do something, no matter how small it is. Adopt a local Shakespeare company, there are still some around. Take a look at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival in Frederick Maryland, a Company who’s plays I rarely miss. Or how about The Shakespeare Factory in Baltimore, ever heard of them? A group of professional and semi-professional actors who put on wonderfully fun Shakespearean plays in Maryland, just north of Washington DC. I watched them do “The Winter’s Tale” just last month, and “a Comedy of Errors” last year, and they both left me smiling ear to ear.

As a side note since I just used the Shakespeare Factory and the Maryland Shakespeare Festival as examples. Last weekend I saw the MSF put on a production of “As You Like It”, and in the audience was Bess Kaye of the Shakespeare Factory. I had just seen her last month in the Factory’s version of “The Winter’s Tale” as Hermione. Now I am just one that never approaches actors. I’m a musician, I’ve play and sang for 30 years, it’s just something I don’t do. But I’d just heard about the Baltimore Shakespeare Festivals demise, and I guess I was feeling a little melancholy about it. So I went up and told Bess how amazingly wonderful I thought she was as Hermione, and how much I enjoyed the Factory Players version of “The Winter’s Tale”. And I told her I remembered her in “The Comedy of Errors” from last year, and… Well’ I just thanked her.

She took my hands and gave me a hug.

Shakespeare makes our lives that more richer. Don’t take local Shakespeare  for granted.

Links for those mentioned:

The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival

Maryland Shakespeare Festival

The Shakespeare Factory

See the links section for more Company’s.

April 9th and 10th: Maryland Shakespeare Festival Bare Bard of “As You Like It” This weekend

I’ve been lax on updating the calendar, but with the Spring season kicking off I am starting to get really excited. One reason for this excitement is the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals last Bare Bard of the season,  where they will be performing a play I haven’t seen yet, “As You Like It”.

Now if you haven’t seen a Bare Bard, give this one a chance. A Bare Bard is where the actors come from around the county with their lines memorized, meet up on Friday, and in 24 hours put on a full production. I’ve seen to many Bare Bards to count and REALLY enjoyed them all. It’s like seeing Shakespeare on a high wire without a net. There’s no sleepwalking these lines, they are freshly learned and the energy is raw. It’s fast,  loose, and a lot of fun!

April 9th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10th at 2 p.m. Sundays performance will include a talk back with the actors.

The Bare Bard performance space is located at All Saints Episcopal Church.

All Saints Episcopal Church
21 North Court Street
Frederick, MD 21701

See website for details

Links: http://mdshakes.com

 

DC-area Shakespeare explorers Meetup!

If you are looking to find other Shakespeare lovers in the DC area, then there’s a new Meetup group looking for you, called DC-area-Shakespeare-explorers.  Now I do not run in any type of academic circles of any type, and personally know no one interested in Shakespeare, so I am looking forward to checking this out.

 

To find out more about the DC-area-Shakespeare-explorers just follow this link:
http://www.meetup.com/DC-area-Shakespeare-explorers/

Click here for their upcoming events calendar:
http://www.meetup.com/DC-area-Shakespeare-explorers/events/calendar/

This Weekend! 2 Hamlets, 2 Midsummers, an “Alls Well” and an R&J!!!!

Sorry for not posting much this week but, wow! This week has been WAY to busy. I had planned to see Hamlet at the Folgers this week, and missed that one, and almost was in a position to miss the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals Midsummer night’s Dream. But the theater God’s have prevailed, the stars have aligned, and MSF’s Midsummer is on my agenda for tonight (Saturday 8pm).

But this weekend is rocking for our area with 2 Hamlets, 2 Midsummer’s, an “Alls Well” and an R&J!!!! That’s a choice of 6 different plays. The Maryland Shakespeare  Festival is my pick for he weekend, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

This next week will be nuts with long nights and long hours at work (till Thursday)  but I’ll try and keep to my regular posting schedule.

But in the mean time, I’m going to be in Frederick for Midsummer Night’s Dream (Favorite play performed by my favorite company). So If ya see me come and say HI.

Here’s the link for: The Maryland Shakespeare Festivals “Midsummer Night’s Dream

Check out the calendar for event details.

Mondo (Titus) Andronicus: The Legend Lives On

Mondo (Titus) Andronicus as performed by Molotov Theatre Group has come and gone, but the legend of this brutal and beastly adaptation lives on. The play has been finished for a couple of weeks now and the Washington Post is still finding reasons to point it out:

“Molotov’s most recent production, “Mondo Andronicus,” was a quick and dirty adaptation of Shakespeare’s goriest play that included self-mutilation, stabbings and the startlingly realistic removal of a tongue.”

And this is actually part of a positive review for a very unique theater company. This type of theater is not for everyone, but thrill seekers will love it, and anyone that saw Mondo Andronicus will most likely never forget it.

Link: Molotov Theatre Group. of Washington DC

Link: Washington Post article: “small theater: Molotov Theatre Group”

Link: Maryland Shakespeare review: Mondo Andronicus and the Grand Guignol: A Blood Splattering Opening Night.

Shakespeare and the Mystery of Three: Loves Labour’s Lost

There’s a mystery afoot, and very much an enigma it is. I’ve searched the internet, and cannot find the answer, or even a mention of what I have questioned. I have searched Google books, with it’s millions of volumes and none allude it. Could it be that no one has ever noticed it before? Or as Sherlock Holmes said in A Scandal in Bohemia “You see, but you do not observe“? I’m sure others have thought about it in passing, but has no one ever stopped to examine my little conundrum?

Here is my question, why is Shakespeare’s “Loves Labour’s Lost” so fixcated on the number “Three”? Three for example is mentioned only 8 times in both Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caeser. Three is mentioned merely 9 time’s in Shakespeare’s longest play Hamlet. Macbeth has an unlucky 13 mentions. And Yet in Loves Labour’s Lost three is mentioned 47 times! Why?

I saw the play performed by the Maryland Shakespeare Festival in Frederick, and mentioned in the talk back afterward that I had noticed three was mentioned quite often. A couple people acknowledge that it does seem to pop up a lot, but they never really thought about it, and couldn’t see any significances. But 47 times? Even if three was considered a magical number back in the days of yore, 47 times is a lot of Mojo.

Here’s a short comparison:
Three is Mentioned 47
God is mentioned only 32 time
Two 13
Four 12
Five 9
Six is not mentioned once, so we will count the single Sixth found as 1
Seven? No seven, but 1 seventh
Eight 0
Nine 5

I’ve searched though the plays text, and can’t find any particular reason for the number three, other then maybe Shakespeare was having a “I think I’ll use the number three a whole lot” kind of day.
Examples:
The King has 3 companions, who are there to study for 3 years
“You three, Berowne, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me”

Note: He also has ADRIANO DE ARMADO whom is there to study as a 4th but is never considered one of the “Three” companions

* Princess has 3 Ladies in waiting
* The Nine Worthies were:
3 Pagan: Hector,  Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar
3 Jewish: Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus
3 Christian: King Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon
* “And then, to sleep but three hours in the night”
* “You three, Berowne, Dumain, and Longaville, Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me”
* The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since
* “nor no penance; but a’ must fast three days a week”
* “The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, Were still at odds, being but three. There’s the moral”.
(Do you really want to keep reading these examples?)
* “three farthings: three farthings remuneration”, “And, among three, to love the worst of all!”
* “he came, one; saw two; overcame, three. Who came? the king”
* “Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three”
* “By Jove, I always took three threes for nine”
* “Great Hercules is presented by this imp, Whose club kill’d Cerberus, that three-headed canis”
* “With three-fold love I wish you all these three”
* I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years.”
* ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I am all these three.
MOTH: And three times as much more, and yet nothing at
all.

And there is of course many more references, but nary a significances.

“The Shakespeare Cryptograph™”
Forget the Da Vinci Code, there is a real live mystery to be solved and one that I have yet to find an answer to. A conundrum that I have spent way to much time on (A couple hours at least). Yes, we have our own “Shakespeare Cryptograph™”. Why “Cryptograph? Because all the cool names like Shakespeare Code, Shakespeare Enigma, Shakespeare mystery etc. are all taken, and If I’ve stumbled onto a mystery that could bring down nations, and discredit religions, I want to make sure I can copy-write the name for the eventual movie.

So if you have any idea what all this means, or why I am even spending my time on it, please feel free to let me know.

Loves Labour’s Lost: Complete text

Word count tool that I used to find the number of times a word is used:
http://rainbow.arch.scriptmania.com/tools/word_counter.html

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