Monday, April 13, 2015

Shakespeare in the Park Without Shakespeare and Without the Park

We're halfway through this spring's six-week Shakespeare class.  We're studying "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Cyrano de Bergerac."  But wait - Cyrano?   What's he doing in a Shakespeare class? That will take a bit of explaining.

By way of background, we have a local theater group, Riverside Theater, who each summer has held two weeks of "Shakespeare in the Park."  Using an open-air theater vaguely reminiscent of the Globe Theater, for many years they have staged a Shakespeare comedy and a Shakespeare tragedy.  Well, the past two summers have seen flooding on the Iowa River.  While the theater stayed high and dry, the access road into the park went underwater and the theater season had to be cut short, and the company lost money.

So, this year, they decided to hold their festival indoors.  And, for some reason, decided to stage "Cyrano de Bergerac," rather than any of the Shakespeare plays.

Our Shakespeare teacher tries to be supportive of Riverside Theater and has taught her class based on which play Riverside Theater would be producing that summer.  In an attempt to continue to be supportive, she decided to teach Cyrano, and then identified a Shakespeare play that could be paired along with Cyrano.  Thus, "Much Ado About Nothing."

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