Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Merry Wives Of Windsor

Our reason for coming to New York was to see our friend Tristan perform in The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Our study of Shakespeare now includes:
  • a performance of As You Like It
  • two performances of Romeo and Juliet
  • BBC movie adaptation of As You Like It
  • Jim Weiss audio books of Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • a performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Tour of the Shakespeare Theater currently closed for renovations
  • Lilah is reading a biography of William Shakespeare

We are going to be attending a performance in the park of Macbeth next week so there is much learning that needs to be done before that!  We will be visiting the library for picture books and watching the BBC cartoon series this week.
I really enjoyed Tristan’s performance.  This was the culmination of a 6 week theater workshop.  The actors ranged from novice thespians to those with film credits.  Each was there to hone their craft and fuel their passion.  
The set had no scenery, very little staging and limited costuming.  I did no pre-teaching of the story with the girls.  This was a “test” of how well they were able to comprehend the story line and understand the language.  They did very well.  Grace’s favorite character was the french doctor in love with a much younger Anna Page.  Lilah did not have a favorite but she has a very clear understanding of how the characters were interacting throughout the play.  I was able to answer their questions and since there were approximately 40 seats in the studio, we all had a front row seat.  
Tristan played the part of a boy dressed up as a woodland fairy to tease and torment Sir John Falstaff.  What an amazing experience he had in the company of such eclectic performers.  He did not attend the 6 week workshop but was invited to the rehearsals to learn the role of the fairy/boy.  He is a natural performer and a joy to watch.
I love that my girls and I can discuss the similarities and differences among the plays.  We can compare and contrast productions and venues.  We have our favorite styles, some of us prefer contemporary productions like the Hudson Valley group and others prefer the more organic feel to a group of people just doing what they like.
Shakespeare.  In Manhattan.  With Friends.  
I count myself in nothing else so happy

As in a soul remembering my good friends.
(Richard II) 

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