A Sort of Homecoming

How quickly time passes when there’s lots to do. How quickly I lost track of how long it had been since last updating here. Well dear readers, I’m still alive.

Yesterday Duane the Shakespeare Geek sent me a message about a post JM wrote about my extended absence from blogging. Thanks JM for the kind words and Duane for letting me know about it! It was very heartwarming to know the Shakesblogosphere missed me.

I suppose I should some sort explanation of my whereabouts. In short, I moved a couple times, I did several different jobs, I’ve been acting and directing alot, but mostly producing! I started a theatre company with some colleagues about a year ago and have been managing it ever since. Click on the logo here to find out more, if you’re interested.

I’m pleased to say that the Shakespeariences haven’t stopped. I had a very Bardful year in 2010 that I’ll probably blog about soon, so no use in giving away any spoilers just yet. Yes, I may as well start updating regularly again. There’s no time like the present.

You may have also noticed that the site looks just a little different. I came back to this old thing and decided to spruce it up a bit. Change the top banner, clean up some things here and there. I may continue to change things here and there, who knows. Just trying to feel at home again.

So what have I missed?

38 Plays in 38 Days

I got an email a few days ago about an insane and equally exciting challenge: To read Shakespeare’s 38 plays (yes, counting Two Noble Kinsmen) in 38 consecutive days!

Does that sound like something you might like to try? Check out http://www.shicho.net/38/ for the full story. It runs from March 1st to April 7th, and I plan to participate in this month(ish) of madness. Why? That’s a complicated answer, but an easier one might be: Why not?

I’m keeping pretty busy these days, but I’ll try to do some updates here about my progress and news from any other Bardolaters I attract to this challenge.

Happy reading!

Did ya miss me?

You may have noticed that I haven’t updated all summer long. Well, I’m back. I felt guilty after having neglected updating in so long. I’m sure by now I have something to write about.

Let me fill you in briefly on what I’ve been up to since I posted. I simultaneously dialect coached productions of Anna in the Tropics and Hay Fever; then appeared as Bernardo/Player/Gravedigger/Osric in a production of Hamlet; subsequently performed in a summer-long run of Love’s Labour’s Lost and As You Like It produced in repertory, playing Costard and Touchstone, respectively. Somewhere in the midst of that I had a day job elsewhere, coached acting Shakespeare for a day at a conservatory, and started a new website. And now I’m beginning work on a production of Richard III.

I’m impressed with myself now that I write it all down. It feels good to have been performing lately… especially when it’s Shakespeare. But you already know how I feel about Shakespeare.

I’ll be posting bits and pieces about my experiences in the shows I performed in and have seen this summer. I also have a truck-load of books that need reviewing. As I finish them I’ll do my best to post a review here. My apologies to my publisher friends.

And, as always, if there’s anything you’d like me to blog about don’t hesitate to contact me and leave a suggestion. I’d like to start some more discussions here like the other thought-provoking ones we’ve had in the past. Till next time…

May the Bard be with you!

April Book Giveaway Contest!

Spring is in the air, and that means I’m giving away a free book! Announcing: the April Book Giveaway contest. A new monthly(-ish) event here at the Bard Blog.

This month’s giveaway item is


MASTERING SHAKESPEARE

by Scott Kaiser

Mastering Shakespeare, by Scott Kaiser

This is a wonderful book with great insights for actors, directors, and anyone who speaks shakespeare to help you bring the text alive. It retails for $19.95, and here’s a chance to get it for free! You can read my review for more info about it.

Here are the rules:

  • Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, your own Blog, wherever.
  • Fill out and submit the entry form.

So simple! Basically you just have to spread the word. Here’s the neat thing: for ever person you refer that enters the contest, you get an extra entry! There’s a line on the entry form that asks who referred you to the contest, so be sure that they fill that out so you increase your chances of winning.

Contest ends on April 30th at 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time.

If you just can’t wait for the contest to end, you can Order Mastering Shakespeare from Amazon.com

So start spreading the word and then fill out this form. Good luck!

Announcing: Return of the Shakespeare Blog Carnival!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

After much time without it, I have decided to resurrect the Blog Carnival. Hopefully after all this time there is renewed interest in it as well! Since it has been a while since the last one, any post from 2009 so far will be accepted. Submit a few! Let’s make it a link-love fest! After all, the whole purpose of the carnival is to share.

So go ahead and submit your links!

I’d also like to offer the opportunity to other bloggers to host the carnival. Jen from Just Jen has offered to host the next one after this. Who else? The more hosts we have, the more sharing gets done! We Shakespeare Bloggers aren’t a large group, but so far we’ve been a very sharing group. Let’s keep it up.

If you’re new to the blog carnival scene (or need a refresher), learn more about this one and look at past editions on the Shakespeare Blog Carnival page, and check out BlogCarnival.com to see others of various subjects across the web.

So submit your links and tell some friends because the carnival is back in town!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you’ve had a Merry Christmas, and/or any other holiday you happen to be celebrating this season.

Did anyone get anything Shakespearean? Please share the Bard-y gifts you got and gave!

I bought myself a present this year… it’s Shakespeare: The Bard Game. I have yet to play but it sounds like it’ll be fun. I’ll have to get some fellow Bardolaters together and play, I’ll let you know how it is. Till then, enjoy the rest of your holiday season!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Bard Blog Birthday Bash!

The Bard Blog is a year old today!

Birthday Bard

It’s hard to believe. It seems like I started this up not too long ago, but it also seems as if I’ve been doing this for a long time (and enjoyed it). I’ve been a bit distant from the web lately, and I haven’t been posting as often as I’d like but that should be changing soon.

I am aweary of this blogger, would he would change!

Lots will be changing soon actually. After a year of blogging I think I’ve finally got the hang of it — and now it’s time to push forward. With the new year just around the corner I’ll be making some changes to the site as a sort of new years resolution. Don’t worry, fans, nothing’s gonna get topsy-turvy. Just more organized.

At this birthday party, you don’t have to buy me a gift (but I won’t complain if you do) but the best present you could give is to take a look through the archives, (re)familiarize yourself with the site’s content. Then comment or send me an email with what sorts of posts you enjoy, ones you’d like to see more of, and you’re welcome to suggest features or subjects that I haven’t covered yet. I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head but I’d love to hear what you, faithful reader, have to say.

Is Our Children Learning?

A story from New Zealand illustrates an educational trend that is spreading worldwide. A trend I see in the U S of A in the news far too often.

Schools, districts, and government instituted curriculum plans are trimming the meat from classroom learning. The article describes Shakespeare studies as being one of those trims: “Shakespeare’s plays and other great works of literature considered too difficult for some pupils will disappear from classrooms under proposed changes to the curriculum.” That statement makes me sick.

Isn’t school meant to be challenging? I remember complaining about difficult parts of class in middle school and high school, but dangit, I learned something!

Standardized testing and the like are putting emphasis on subjects of minimal importance. You can’t have a multiple-choice test on literature. Learning can’t be measured. Why not reintroduce Shakespeare and other “difficult” materials into the classroom and have the youth of today learn culture, critical thinking, and appreciation of art?

And who says Shakespeare is difficult? The real difficulty today is people finding the patience to really learn something that takes time. Anything worth learning can’t really be studied in one or a few class sessions, can it? I’ve been studying Shakespeare for years! Many have studied Shakespeare (or other creative arts related subjects) their entire lives and still find gratification in the pursuit of knowledge.

What will the world of tomorrow be in an education system that teaches us to skim the surface of the knowledge pool without ever swimming to the deep end of knowledge?