If your appetite for Shakespeare hasn’t yet been sated by Sock and Buskin’s Twelfth Night, worry not: the Trinity Rep/Brown MFA Class of 2015 production of the Bard’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre continues for one more night.
One of Shakespeare’s last plays, Pericles tells the tale of the titular prince, who flees from the bloodthirsty Antiochus of Antioch after discovering the King
is sleeping with his daughter has a secret. Pericles flees to Tarsus, meeting King Cleon and Queen Dionyza, before being washed ashore at Pantapolis, where he wins the hand of the King’s daughter, Thaisa, in marriage. Their daughter, Marina, is born at sea as another storm kills Thaisa, who is thrown overboard and is carried to Ephesus. Pericles leaves Marina at Tarsus before returning home alone.
Fans of Shakespeare on the Green, rejoice! According to the Washington Post, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s copy of the First Folio will be staying at Brown at some point next year. Its visit to Brown is part of a national tour meant to coincide with with the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death, and yes, it already has a hashtag: #SHX400. It’s sure to be included in the nerdiest tweets ever known to the Internet.
The First Folio, “one of the most valuable printed books in the world,” will spend time in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C, and includes classic plays like Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. 36 of The Bard’s plays are in its pages.
There’s no word yet on where exactly the First Folio will be housed during its time at Brown or when exactly in 2016 it will be on College Hill. A big display case in the middle of Faunce would be a great sell for prospective students, though its age makes the Hay seem like a logical fit. Besides, I could totally see Shakespeare being a Beyoncé fan.
For most Brown students, Shakespeare existed only in high school English classes; while his importance as a founding father of modern drama and comedy are drilled into our brains, his texts often remain inert to the modern reader.
To those who haven’t seen high-quality Shakespeare productions, welcome to a whole new world. To those who have and love it, welcome to your dream.
Twelfth Night, directed by Jane Nichols, is a well-oiled machine. Despite running two and a half hours, the show doesn’t ever lag. The actors are like frenetic puppets, weaving on and off stage with timed precision. The set, too, is moving; the stage, initially all but bare upon entering the theater, changes subtly but effectively to denote change of setting.
Nichols, an esteemed professor of at the Yale School of Drama and currently a visiting artist at Brown, is an obvious professional and the true star of the show, despite never appearing on stage. Her blocking is as tight as can be, and her knowledge of the text is clear from the start. Unlike many student productions of Shakespeare, it’s clear the actors know the exact meaning of the lines they’re delivering. When the actors know the meaning of their words, it’s much easier for the audience to wade through Shakespeare’s, at times, opaque text–and the jokes certainly land with surer footing. The actors are just as comfortable in group scenes as they are expertly delivering soliloquies that sometimes border on… lengthy.
Family Weekend is always kind of a weird time on campus. If your parents are here, you’re probably trying to simultaneously prove you’re fine on your own, get them to buy you things, impress them with all the cool things you do on campus and hide half a semester’s worth of beer bottles. If they’re not here, you’re probably either feeling sorry for yourself or laughing at all the kids dragging their parents around the Green. Whether you need a way to entertain your parents or yourself without them, take advantage of the fact that practically every student group on campus is putting on a show of some sort this weekend.
Shakespeare on the Green’s “King Lear”
The Quiet Green
Shakespeare on the Green is promising both sword fighting and hot chocolate for this performance, which happen to be two of my favorite things.
Should you take your parents? Are they Shakespeare fans? Are they willing to sit outside on the grass for two hours without complaining? If so, by all means take them. Otherwise, get your culture fix at 3C2C.
Talk the Tock… Walk the Wock
$5 for you, $8 for your parents
I just spent five minutes trying to decide if I pronounce “talk” and “tock” the same way, which is about four minutes and fifty-five seconds longer than it should be (although I’m willing to bet you just tried it yourself). The Jabberwocks and the Chattertocks both always deliver quality performances, and I still have the ‘Wocks’ version of “F*** You” stuck in my head, so by all means, hurry over!
Should you take your parents? Yes. A cappella concerts are (usually) fun, wholesome and culture-y: three things that your parents want to picture when they think of you at college. The illusion doesn’t hurt anyone, so why spoil it for them?
T.F. Green Hall
“Three Chairs Two Cubes” is a festival of short plays and skits written / directed / acted in by students. Some are always better than others, but the balance usually evens out the positive side. This year’s 3C2C features Klondike Bars, gladiators and parent-teacher conferences.
Should you take your parents? If you don’t feel like braving the chilly New England weather for Shakespeare on the Green, 3C2C is a good way to stay inside and still show off the best of Brown’s creativity.