19 Plays in 59 Days

I’ve been away from the blog, but that doesn’t mean I stopped thinking about Shakespeare. I’ve basically got a year of thinking to fill you in on. The Winter's Tale

One big undertaking in 2010 was my Summer Shakespeare extravaganza. I made sure to see as many productions of the Bard as I could within a 2 month period. It was sort of a challenge to myself to see if I could, to see what was out there, and just for the sake of seeing more theatre. I scoured the net for theaters near and far that were producing Shakespeare and I came up with a list. Then came time to schedule them… that was complicated. Eventually I had my schedule of shows to see. After all was said and done I saw 19 shows on my list within 59 days. I saw a few in the weeks after as well, but that would ruin my excellent title.

Here is THE LIST:

  • As You Like It
  • Comedy of Errors
  • Hamlet
  • Julius Caesar
  • King Lear (x2)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (x4)
  • Measure for Measure
  • Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Othello
  • Twelfth Night (x2)
  • The Winter’s Tale (x2)

In just 2 months I saw 13 different plays! Yes, I saw FOUR different productions of Midsummer. Let’s just say that I’m okay with taking a break from that show for just a little while. omedy of Errors - Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, Thousand Oaks, CA

I should add, just for fun, that outside of those 2 months in 2010 I also saw The Tempest, Macbeth, and another Merry Wives of Windsor. Which would bring my total year count to seeing 22 productions of 15 different plays.

I put a lot of miles on my car, driving 100 miles north for one and a similar distance south for another, as well as everything in between. One great thing about summer Shakespeare is that a lot of companies produced it and offered it for free in a park. To be exact, 9 of the above productions were absolutely free. Good thing too, or I would’ve broken the bank just on theatre tickets.

The productions ranged from college and community theatre to huge regional theatre productions. Quality also had a huge range, but was not at all directly related to budget. The most expensive production I saw may have been one of the least effective at telling the story, while some of the amateur productions had some great talent to keep me interested.

I could go on for days about each production if I wanted to. Some were very good, some were very bad. A few made me happy and others made me mad. I should specify that I only got mad at professional productions — they had all the potential in the world and yet failed to deliver. An amateur production, no matter the quality, is done for the love of it and could never upset me.

Yes, I saw 22 productions of just SHAKESPEARE in a year. How many total performing arts events did I attend in 2010? 86.

I’ll try to find some specific lessons learned or things to point out in future posts. Till then, any questions?

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  1. Thomas Loy Feb 4, 2011

    As an expert on Shakespeare, I was wondering what you think of our high school (and it is indeed sophomoric) adaption of Macbeth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWWN6SX0G2I


  2. Joshua Brown Feb 16, 2011

    Hiya, I created a new innovation to The Bards works and think that the readers on this blog would greatly appreciate it. And, seeing as A Mid Summers Night was one of the shows performed it would even be contextual. The idea is entitled “Shakespeare on a Stick” It is literally as it sounds, it takes The bards works and presents them in a humorous manner. There is only one episode so far but I’d be glad to share it with all. Sincerely, Joshua brown

  3. Judaica Jewelry May 31, 2011

    Sounds like one heck of a run. Any plans for this summer?

  4. Tyler Moss Jul 28, 2011

    I would love to hear what made you angry. What is a “Failed” production of Shakespeare? Did they change the script? Did they interpret something the way you wouldn’t? Did they go too far? Not far enough?

    I often feel that in some ways, Shakespeare’s works are a canvas. It’s not blank but has many different clues that can lead you in many different directions. These different routes often lead us to many strong prejudices about the plays.

    I’d be interested in hearing more.

    And please feel free to post any links to your blog on our Facebook page “The Shakespeare Forum”

  5. Megan from famousshakespearequotes.net Aug 15, 2011

    As much as I love Shakespeare I am not sure I could handle that many productions in 2 months. I am sure a break is in order!!
    I have found myself, with amateur productions that, although they don’t have the budgets of the larger expensive productions, somehow they end up making a better show of it due to this fact. Somehow the less props and paraphernalia that a production has, the more one relies on the prose to tell the story…

  6. Daniel Oct 5, 2011

    I’ve been enjoying your blog. Take a look at the new movie coming out called ‘Anonymous’ it’s new take on Shakespeare, that he might not have written any of his works. It looks interesting. http://www.sonypictures.com/previews/movies/anonymous/clips/3720/

  7. Deutsche Ficken Jul 22, 2012

    Hi Gedaly! How did you manage to go to all 19 plays? It’s like going every second day to watch Shakespeare.
    Also as Daniel suggested check “Anonymous” movie, if you haven’t watched it already. I’m not sure if you will like it since it presents Lord Oxford as the true author of Shakespeare’s plays. To me it’s not mater who wrote Shakespeare’s plays, as long we enjoy in it.

  8. Tarkan Huuseinoglu Jul 30, 2012

    This is sensitive issue, everyone has diffirent opinion regarding this issue, but make a shot with this article, You explain it very well. Love it ! How can i contact you.. I need further discussion

  9. http://samsjsu.org Apr 20, 2013

    “19 Plays in 59 Days | The Bard Blog – Shakespeare Info”
    was a marvelous article, cannot help but wait to go through far more of ur articles.
    Time to spend a little time online hehe. Thank you ,Martina

  10. http://Sayyesweddingdressesincofficial.Yolasite.com/ Apr 21, 2013

    “19 Plays in 59 Days | The Bard Blog – Shakespeare Info” ended
    up being a delightful post, can’t wait to go through alot more
    of ur blogs. Time to spend some time on the web lol.
    Thanks for the post ,Consuelo

  11. cckl Mar 25, 2014

    thank you for your posts. I look forward to listening to as much of the arkangel audio series as i can on my 1,000 mile drive next weekend.First will be the Histories, in order !

  12. izmir kocluk Jun 13, 2014

    hi sir, it is very nice to learn from you… thank you so much

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