Project Shakespeare: month #8 wrap up

Can you believe I’ve done so many of these I just forgot about this one…

Anyway, here we go: see all previous wrap ups here.

Two Noble Kinsmen
★★★★☆
my roles: Wooer, First Queen, Prologue, Epilogue, Messenger, First Countryman, Third Countryman, First Knight, Taborer

This was a lot of fun! I like this play, and I couldn’t even tell you why; I just think it’s a bit fun and stupid in a way that really charms me (similar to Comedy of Errors and Merry Wives of Windsor). Arcite and Palamon are such a charming and dynamic duo and our two actors in those roles did such an amazing job coordinating that it was such a pleasure to watch. And shoutout to Abby for playing Jailer’s Daughter as Eponine, a truly inspired choice.

Henry VI Part 2
★★★★☆
my roles: Queen Margaret, Mayer of St. Albans (lol)

As discussed in my last wrap up, I LOVE the Henry VI plays. This one is actually my least favorite of the three, but only narrowly. I find it a little more unfocused than the other two but its saving grace is Margaret of Anjou, simply one of the BEST female characters, and I had such an amazing time playing her. This monologue is one of my favorites:

image

“Die, Margaret! For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.” I LOVE HER. Also, Suffolk 😦

Two Gentlemen of Verona
★★★☆☆
my role: Thurio

Guys… I don’t even know what to say. We cracked. Project Shakespeare finally cracked.

Well, first off – this play is not very good at all. It’s funny because I saw a production of this in college, I remember very few details but I do remember being VERY charmed by it (in hindsight I think it was just the dog…). So, this ENTIRE TIME that I’ve been reading Shakespeare this year I had in the back of my mind that Two Gentlemen of Verona was one of my favorite comedies. Then I finally read it and… yeah it’s absolutely one of the worst. 3 stars may be generous actually but I’m going to revisit all of my star ratings at the end of this project anyway so take them with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I don’t even know why but a few minutes into this play we all just… lost our goddamn minds. Every single person was laughing so hard that we had to stop for like five minutes which has NEVER HAPPENED, IN 8 MONTHS OF DOING THIS!!! So this actually ended up being my second favorite Project Shakespeare experience (after King Lear), it was just… very very joyous. For reasons I absolutely cannot explain.

Henry VI Part 3
★★★★★
my roles: Henry VI

UGH THIS PLAY. The thing about the Henry VI cycle is that none of these plays really works on stage as a stand-alone; you have to perform them all in succession which is a lot to ask of an audience and so I understand why these aren’t exactly crowd-pleasers, but… ugh, this play, these characters, this story. In my opinion this is hands down the best history play. It’s brutal, it’s devastating, the characters are all flawed and heartbreaking. The Margaret/Richard of York scene in act 1 is almost painfully savage but it’s also one of the most compelling scenes of all time – the paper crown, ugh, I just —

Also I ADORE Henry VI as a character, flawed as he is as a ruler – I’m charmed and saddened in equal measure by his gentleness. I had a blast playing him.


We’ve done a couple more since 3H6 but those will have to wait for the next post. Stay tuned for the 9th and FINAL WRAP UP of Project Shakespeare: Round 1…

10 thoughts on “Project Shakespeare: month #8 wrap up

  1. I’m so glad you’re finding joy in strange places! Your comments on Henry IV needing to be done all together reminds me that I’ve only read Henry IV part 2…because my high school received a class set on discount but couldn’t afford to buy the other two parts. I should probably actually read the whole thing one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joy in strange places is the perfect way to describe Project Shakespeare! Wait wait, did you read Henry 4 part 2 or Henry 6 part 2? I was talking about Henry 6 which I think would be quite a weird one to have assigned in high school, but honestly I feel similarly about the Henry 4s – they TECHNICALLY work as standalones but they’re all part of the same story so why would you assign only the second one?! It’s so weird to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, shoot, I did mean Henry 4. I’m terrible with the Roman numerals. Yeah, it was weird even to us in the class. We were supposed to read Macbeth and then our teacher handed out copies of Henry 4 part 2 saying the school got a better discount on these.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha no worries I mess them up too. 2H4 instead of Macbeth would be such a bummer for high schoolers!! I love the history plays but reading them in high school would have been kind of torturous, especially just reading a second one with zero context!

        Liked by 1 person

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