Most people are introduced to Shakespeare when they are forced to read Romeo and Juliet or King Lear for a high school English class. The language can be difficult and unwieldy, and it doesn’t feel accessible to our minds. I felt that way when I started struggling my way through the first play of his that I read, Hamlet, but then my 12th grade teacher wheeled the TV cart into our room and showed us the film version in which the title character was played by Derek Jacobi (filmed about 14 years before he was knighted). It hit me then; Shakespeare is meant to be seen, not read. Part of the experience is watching actors pour their souls into these fantastically interesting characters. When it is brought to life in front of your eyes, you can suddenly see how his brilliant ideas maintain relevance in the modern life.
You probably use phrases attributed to Shakespeare every single day. Is there a green-eyed monster lurking deep inside of you? Is there someone in your life who is the be-all, end-all and who reminds you that love is blind? Have you ever had to break the ice? What about that heart of gold of yours? Okay, here’s one for you: Knock knock! Who’s there? Shakespeare is there, coining all of these phrases and many more!
Are you still unconvinced of Shakespeare’s incredible legacy? There are countless films that do not bear the names of his plays but are still based on works by The Bard. She’s the Man, a teen comedy starring Amanda Bynes, is a retelling of The Twelfth Night. West Side Story takes the star-crossed lovers (another Shakespearean phrase!) from Romeo and Juliet and places them in the Upper West Side of New York City. Have you seen the Disney classic The Lion King or read one of the novelizations? That is Hamlet!
I am very passionate about showing people what there is to love about Shakespeare, so I am very happy that the Chesapeake Public Library’s Mobile Edition van will be at TCC’s Shakespeare in the Grove, located behind the Pass Building at the Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Road. This year’s free, outdoor performance is a showing of Much Ado About Nothing. Weather permitting, the Library will be there from approximately 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m., and the play will begin at 8:00 p.m. every night from Wednesday, June 21st to Sunday, June 25th. The Library will be able to answer any questions you have about our services, and there will be some fun activities. Be on the lookout for Shakespearean magnetic poetry and a 3D printer demonstration. There will also be a guest appearance by my newest and tiniest friend, the 3D-printed Shakespeare robot:
For questions about the play, you can contact the TCC Chesapeake Theatre representative at 757-822-5219. For any questions about the Library’s Mobile Edition van, give us a call at 757-410-7124.
Are there any other Shakespeare fans out there? What is your favorite adaptation?