Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Could Shakespeare Be More Wordy?

Well, I suppose he can't since he's no longer living.
I'm in the midst of directing his comedy Twelfth Night. 
Wait. I must start further back...
In high school, I read Much Ado About Nothing and didn't really follow. Then I SAW it performed! The physical action made it understandable and hilarious.
Back to the present...
Directing 12th Night. I cut it. A lot. I kept all the parts I thought I could make physically funny as well as verbally funny and keep the storyline intact. But I still cut a lot. I did keep one part though that I suppose I could have cut or reduce. It's that of the Priest who enters to tell the group that he just performed the marriage ceremony of Sebastian and the Countess Olivia. Does he enter and say, "I just married them a couple of hours ago"? No, he says:

Priest A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
Attested by the holy close of lips,
Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings;
And all the ceremony of this compact
Seal'd in my function, by my testimony:
Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my grave
I have travell'd but two hours.

I couldn't cut it down or out. You know why? Because all I could envision was the Princess Bride movie and the Priest who performs the wedding ceremony--"Mawidge. Mawidge is what bwings us hewe today...Wuv, twoo Wuv..." hahahahahaha! (I love that movie.) So my young actor is playing up the Priest. I forbade him to copy the lisp or attributes of the priest on Princess Bride but he does a fine job of slowly dropping these pearls of wisdom and creating movements with all those words just to say, "Yeah, I married them."

If you'd like to come see the show, the group of homeschooled teens are performing on May 9, in Corvallis. Let me know if you want more details! (I'm still laughing over the movie and my cast member!)

Disclaimer: I'm no Shakespeare expert. And I do mime.

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