Strange Bedfellows – Shakespeare and Star Wars?

As both a Shakespeare AND a Star Wars Geek, I could not let the day go by without mentioning Ian Doescher’s hilarious mashups of the two genres. His William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series now include the following titles:

Shakespeare purists (and linguists) may cringe, and I admit that the humor can wear a little thin after the first couple of books, but it’s fun to view the Star Wars epic through a more “classical” – albeit deeply silly – lens.  The original trilogy is now available as a Royal Imperial Box Set – complete with poster. (Click the photo below to order it on Amazon.com.)

If you don’t want to pop for the boxed set – start with the first book:William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (Verily, A New Hope).

May the Fourth Be With You!

Lisa Norris-Lynner

Celebration Quotation – May 1, 2016

Today’s quote is from The Tempest:

"Our revels now are ended." The Tempest, Act IV, Scene i

Our revels are ended indeed – today marks the final performance of our Shakespeare Celebration production.  It’s also the final day of our Shakespeare Celebration daily quotations project.

Since January 1, we have posted 121 quotes from Shakespeare, accompanied by images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s digital collection. It has been a wonderful project – an exploration of theatre history, art history, and Shakespeare “Geekery” – and we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing it.  Although we haven’t completely exhausted the wealth of quotations available, or images to go with them, we are moving on to other challenges. However, as #Shakespeare400 celebrations are continuing around the world throughout this year, we may occasionally post an additional quotation of two, just for fun, particularly when we have other Shakespeare-related projects in the works.  Stay tuned!

This drawing of Prospero is by artist Henry Courtney Selous (1803-1890).  See more of his work at ArtUK.org.  If you haven’t visited this website before, it’s worth the time to browse through its fabulous collection of art – not as good as seeing it in a museum, but a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, nonetheless!

By the way, if you’d like to hear the entire speech this quote is taken from, come see our show today!

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


FINAL OFFER – DISCOUNT TICKETS

Online sales for today’s performance of A Shakespeare Celebration have ended, but there will still be tickets available at the door.  Mention this post when when you purchase your ticket and receive $5 off!

Celebration Quotation – April 30, 2016

Today’s quote is from Timon of Athens:"Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy." Timon of Athens, Act III, Scene 5

Do you agree with the sentiment behind the line?  Does offering mercy and forgiveness actually make it more likely that crimes will be committed?

This is a subject of great interest to us, as one of our upcoming projects – a production of a play called The Amish Project – deals with the issue of offering forgiveness and grace in the face of a terrible crime.

As we could night find an illustration of the character who speaks the line – or even an illustration of a scene in which the line is spoken, the image we have chosen is a fun sketch of Shakespeare.  It’s a bit of a mystery – the Folger Library dates it as coming from the late 19th or early 20th century, and it’s signed by W,F. Kurze.  We could not find any reference online to an artist of that name.  The only possible connection is a 1925 book (available on Amazon): Plays Produced Under the Stage Direction of David Belasco, written by Belasco and William Winter, with Illustrations by a William F. Kurze.  David Belasco (1853-1931) was an American theatre impresario.   As the book and this drawing seem to have been created around the same time period, as well as the theatre connection, it would seem likely that W.F. Kurze and William F. Kurze are the same artist.  Even if we’re wrong, we still like this image of Shakespeare!

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


 

SHAKESPEARE CELEBRATION SPECIAL OFFER

Our Special Offer continues for at-the-door tickets to the last two performances of A Shakespeare Celebration at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  When you purchase your ticket, tell us that you saw this post – and the play the quote came from – and receive $5 off on your ticket!  Performances run tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow at 2:00 pm.

Celebration Quotation – April 29, 2016

Today’s quote comes from Sonnet 87:

"Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing." Sonnet 87

This is a graceful way to say goodbye to a relationship, particularly if you have wronged the other person.  Here’s the entire sonnet:

Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate.
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
  Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter:
  In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
What a lovely way to say, “I’m not good enough for you – you deserve better.”  Would that we could all be so gracious in ending a romance!
The image of Shakespeare is from a series of paintings by American artist George Henry Hall (1825-1913).  Another of his portraits of Shakespeare is in the collection at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  See that portrait here at ArtUK.org – one of our favorite online art collections.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


 

Special Offer

There are just three performances left of our Shakespeare Celebration at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and a few tickets will be available for sale at the door. Tell us you saw this post – and the sonnet that was quoted – and get $5 off on your ticket!  

If you want to ensure that you’ll get a seat, book your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Celebration Quotation – April 28, 2016

Today’s quote is from Henry Vi, Part 3:

"Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer." Henry Vi Part 3, Act V, Scene 6

Gloucester seemed to know a lot about suspicion and guilt – though he doesn’t seem the least bit guilty about scheming his way to the top to become King Richard III.

The image is an engraving of a daguerrotype of actor James William Wallack (1794-1864).  Wallace was born in England, and had success both on tour in the UK and on the London stage.  He finished his career in America as a popular Shakespearean actor.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


Special Discount for Shakespeare Fans:

Tickets will be available at the door for tonight’s performance of A Shakespeare Celebration at Westminster Presbyterian Church.    Tell us that you saw this post and receive $5 off on your ticket!  

 

Celebration Quotation – April 27, 2016

Today’s quote – quite a famous one – comes from the “Scottish Play.:Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time." Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5 The actor in the photo is Robert B. Mantell (1854-1928.)  He was born in Scotland, toured extensively in both the U.K and America, but never really achieved acclaim in London or on Broadway.   Despite the fact that he was never a star, he seemed to have worked steadily, and was noted for his work in productions of Shakespeare plays.  He also made a number of silent films, though he began his film career at the age of 61.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 26, 2016

Today’s quote is from All’s Well That Ends Well:

"Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear." All's Well That Ends Well, Act V, Scene 3

We love this line.  If you’re grieving, sharing fond memories of the one you have lost does make you feel better.

The image is an engraving of an illustration of the scene in the play in which this line is spoken.  The artist is Henry Courtney Selous (1803-1890.)  See more of his work here at ArtUK.org.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 25, 2016

As we wind down our final week of not Shakespeare Celebration project (our last post will be May 1), here’s a quote from King Lear:

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear, Act I, Scene 4

The image is a portrait of the great actor manager Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) in the role of Lear, circa 1861. Irving was the first actor ever to be knighted. He began acting at the age of 18, and his career lasted nearly 50 years – he performed right up to the day of his death.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 24, 2016

Today’s quote is from The Merchant of Venice:

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved by concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils." The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1

The handsome actor in the role of Lorenzo has a fabulous stage name: Lark Taylor (1881-19460.) Born John Lark Taylor in Nashville, TN, he had a successful career as an actor, musician, and radio artist. Although we could not find a Wikipedia page for Taylor, he did leave quite a legacy of his career, bequeathing a huge collection of plays, songs, prompt scripts, correspondence, and other stage and radio memorabilia to the libraries of Peabody College and Vanderbilt University.  The Vanderbilt collection includes his autobiography, along with Taylor’s description of an eventful year he spent playing opposite the volatile John Barrymore in Hamlet.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


There are still a few tickets left for our 2:00 pm performance of A Shakespeare Celebration.  This is the last day for free tickets, but you still have four more chances to see the show: April 28-30 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, May 1.

Tickets are available at the door for all shows, but advance reservations are suggested, as seating is limited.  Free childcare is available at every performance.

Get Tickets Here

Celebration Quotation – April 23, 2016

Today is Shakespeare’s Birthday!  It’s also the 400th Anniversary of his death.  While we usually don’t publish a quote from the same play two days in a row, this quote from Hamlet is particularly fitting:

"He was a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again." Hamlet, Act I, Scene 2

The image is an 1832 painting of the Bard is by artist Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763-1840.)

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection


 

Come celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday with us tonight at 7:30 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Tickets to A Shakespeare Celebration are FREE tonight – but seating is limited.  Birthday Cake will be served after the show.

 

The church provides free childcare for audience members, so if you have kids and are looking for an expensive night out, we’re the best deal in town!

Reserve your tickets here