Project Shakespeare: month #9 wrap up

Well… we did it! We have officially performed every* Shakespeare play in quarantine over Zoom. We started this in March – my friend Abby had the idea to invite a group of her friends to read Midsummer together, and then it just… blossomed into this constant and extraordinary thing that I am so grateful to be a part of.

(*except the ones with non-white characters. As a predominantly white group we opted out of performing Othello, Antony & Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, and Titus Andronicus – instead I ran book clubs on each of those over the last few months.)

So without further ado… the final Project Shakespeare wrap up of Round 1 (more on that in a minute). See all wrap ups here.

Macbeth
★★★★★
my roles: Third Witch, Duncan, Siward, Second Murderer, Porter, Old Man, Third Apparition

For the eagle-eyed among you: yes, we already did Macbeth back in April. But as Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, we thought what could be more appropriate than doing Macbeth again? We did the casting a bit differently too – ordinarily Abby and I cast the plays every week (taking people’s preferences into consideration and also making sure to alternate people playing leads vs. ensemble), but for Halloween Macbeth we decided to make the casting entirely random. This actually resulted in Abby playing Macbeth, which ended up being such an extraordinary performance that I think we were all thrilled with that outcome – and I ended up with the Old People Track, which I found rather amusing since I almost always play young gen characters. This was a great time.

Henry VIII
★★☆☆☆
my roles: First Gentleman, Duke of Suffolk, Porter, Brandon, Servant, Vision

I fucking hate this play. What a SLOG. Our performance was as good as it could possibly have been given that the material is hot garbage. But there was plenty of silliness and an amazing performance as Katherine, as well as an utterly bonkers interpretation of the vision scene, so, still a good time. (Oh, and Biden had been declared the president elect a few hours before so… very good, very weird energy that night.) But if I never have to read Henry VIII again it will be too soon.

Troilus and Cressida
★★★★☆
my roles: Achilles, Paris, Boy, Andromache

I love this play, but not because it’s particularly good – I’m just a big Iliad nerd (I don’t know if you know that about me) so I’ll take any excuse to spend some time with these characters. Playing the little bitch himself, Achilles, was a DREAM – and my friend made me armor so… what more could you ask for.

Richard III
★★★★☆
my roles: Lady Anne, Sir Richard Ratcliff, Second Messenger, Second Citizen

And… the last one! It felt fitting to end Project Shakespeare as a tragic history woman when they have consistently been my favorite characters to play throughout this whole thing. Anyway, as everyone knows Richard III is a fantastic play and it was a great one to end on.

Now let’s take a quick walk down memory lane. Looking at these photos is just… I don’t know; I know I’ve already talked a lot about how shy I am and how outside the box this has been for me, so I don’t want to belabor the point, but also, if you had told me a year ago that I was going to spend 2020 acting and being silly on camera I’d have told you to get your head tested. This has just been such a special and unexpected thing in my life.

So… THERE WE HAVE IT.

But it’s not quite the end. As anyone living in the U.S. knows, quarantine does not appear to be ending any time soon, so we are… diving right back into the plays and beginning Project Shakespeare: Round 2 this weekend. What can I say – the consistency is nice.

Now my question for you all is whether there’s any interest in me continuing to do Project Shakespeare wrap ups for Round 2? On the one hand, I think the majority of my blog audience could do without these in their lives (trust me, no hard feelings – none of us signed up for this); on the other hand, it might be cool to document my evolving relationships with the plays…? Anyway I’m on the fence so let me know! See you soon for my (ir)regularly scheduled blog content.

19 thoughts on “Project Shakespeare: month #9 wrap up

  1. Please keep doing these wrap-ups! I discovered your blog through them a while ago, and absolutely love them 😊 Also, I completely agree with you on Henry VIII – I was so excited to read that one because I thought a play about a guy who started a huge religious conflict because the Pope wouldn’t let him get divorced couldn’t possibly be boring… But apparently, I was wrong 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh thank you, that’s so lovely to hear! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them! And ugh, Henry VIII was SO disappointing, how did Shakespeare manage to take one of the most eventful periods of English history and turn it into… that?!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on reaching the end, what an accomplishment! And your photos are fantastic, it’s such a relief to see someone enjoying something in this year of our lord 2020. I hope you all have a blast with Round 2!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What accomplishments! And you look so beautiful and all the pictures.

    My blunt opinion, which I know you won’t mind, and that I typically don’t read these updates, cuz it’s not my area of interest. But I still think you should do them, for yourself. You might like to have these to look back on. Even though blogs are public-facing, I think they’re a good way to journal… Plus I’m sure there’s lots of people out there that are interested in Shakespeare 😁 and well, I did read this one, maybe there’s hope for me yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww thank you! 😘

      BITCH YOU WHAT?! Hahahah of course I don’t mind, I’m also selective with the blog content I read, I think everyone is. That’s a great point though. I do tend to blog for myself first and foremost, I just didn’t want to be over here boring everyone to tears for a second year in a row… But yeah, I’ll probably keep doing them if I’m motivated. Which play did you read?!

      Like

  4. I have really enjoyed following along with this project and it made me smile to hear how much you’ve loved doing these plays. I say if you want to keep sharing your Shakespeare experience, go right ahead and do so!

    Liked by 1 person

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