In researching for reworking my musical theater script I’ve been led to a few resource materials: Making Musicals by Tom Jones, Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver, along with a book on writing mentioned in my earlier blog A Body Nodder. In one of these books I felt directed to study Shakespeare. So this week I’ve conducted my own crash course.
I took out a monumental book of Shakespeare’s scripts and sonnets and began perusing. I watched the BBC DVD In Search of Shakespeare. I watched a lecture series on elements in Shakespeare by a Dartmouth professor as well as a wonderful DVD with the director John Barton working with the likes of Judy Dench, Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart among others. Ah to witness such a master class.
The final stint of my course has been spent watching filmed full-length Shakespeare plays. So far I’ve experienced A Midsummer’s Night Dream and As You Like It.
And now I liken Shakespeare to cheesecake.
Since high school I’ve felt I SHOULD study Shakespeare. But I never WOULD. I thought I never COULD: too dull, too unintelligible, too haughty, too highbrow.
Like cheesecake: I HATED cheesecake for the first 17 years of my life – until I tried it.
It was good. Very good.