Monday, February 28, 2011

Richard III: act 1, scene 3


last show of Vinegar Tom? check. visit to my grandma? check. Oscars? check. wishing Annette Bening had finally won, but happy for Christian Bale and Colin Firth. also the PSD (post-show depression) is setting in. *sigh* escape into Shakespeare time!

act 1, scene 3
   (Elizabeth and her father, Lord Grey, enter with Rivers and Dorset.)
Rivers: don't worry. his majesty will be better soon.
Grey: you make him worse with all your worrying. be more comforting to him!
Elizabeth: what will happen to me when he dies?
Grey: you have a loving son to live for.
Elizabeth: but he will be in the charge of Richard, and Richard does not love us.
   (Buckingham and Derby enter.)
Stanley: we have just visited the king. he seems to be doing better.
Buckingham: he wants to reconcile Richard and your brothers, Elizabeth.
   (Richard enters.)
Richard: who is complaining to the king about me? you do me wrong! i am a simple man. i'm not full of flattery, but that doesn't make me a villain! when i have done wrong to any of you? Elizabeth, you keep complaining in his ear!
Elizabeth: i do not. the king comes to his own conclusions about you. you're just jealous of me. i pray to God that i never need you.
Richard: my bother is in prison because of you. we are all disgraced, while your family and friends get all the promotions.
Elizabeth: you're a liar. in fact, i tried to help Clarence. i am sick of your accusations. i will tell Edward what you're doing. i'd rather be a 'country servant maid' than life as a queen in these conditions.
   (Margaret enters.)
Richard: are you seriously threatening me? go ahead. tell him. i've been here a lot longer than you, sweetheart. i seem to remember a time when you and your family were loyal to the Lancaster house. i've always been loyal to the Yorks.
Rivers: listen, Richard. in those days, a Lancaster was king. we were loyal to our king, not to the house of Lancaster. we'd be loyal to you if you were our king.
Richard: me? pff! i don't want to be a king.
Margaret: hey jerks. Richard, don't you turn away from me.
Richard: 'foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my sight?' i thought you were banished.
Margaret: you owe me a husband, a son, and a kingdom. your happiness should be mine.
Richard: did you forget the horrible things you did to my family? you slaughtered my baby brother.
Margaret: aren't we even by now? i hope you live to one day be stuck in my circumstances. you will get what is coming to you, you disgusting, loathed, waste of a man.
Richard: mercy, please.
Margaret: and you, Elizabeth. one day you will want me to help you against this 'bunch-backed toad'.
Dorset: don't argue with her. she's crazy.
Margaret: the higher they climb, the harder they fall. i pray you lose this kingdom in as much blood as you won it.
Buckingham: 'peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity!'
Margaret: Buckingham, i have no problem with you. my family's blood is not on your hands.
Buckingham. nor anyone else.
Margaret: you're seriously going to be on his side? (see quote below.) (she exits.)
Richard: we can't blame her for being this way. her life has been hard and i'm sorry that i've contributed to that.
Elizabeth: i never did anything wrong to her.
Richard: yes, but you have gained from every wrong she has suffered.
   (Catesby enters.)
Catesby: His Majesty is calling for all of you.
   (all exit except Richard. two murderers enter.)
Richard: are you ready?
Murderer: oh yes.
Richard: when you are done, go to Crosby place. kill him quickly, because Clarence is well-spoken. he will convince you not to kill him.
Murderer: we're on it.

is it me, or does this play have the best insults in it? some of my particular favorites are 'foul wrinkled witch' and 'elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog'. ahahaha. awesome. i hope there are a lot more to come.

i am obsessed with Margaret. i've said it before, but her character arc is insane. i don't even recognize her from when we met her in the Henry plays. she has grown and changed so much. i do think she sometimes acts as a bit of a hypocrite, such as being horrified that Richard killed her son when she killed Richard's baby brother. but other than that, i kind of love her. i can't wait for her to turn out to be right. i wonder if there will be a moment in which Elizabeth wishes she had listened to Margaret.

quote of the day:
'what, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
and soothe the devil that i warn thee from?
o, but remember this another day,
when he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
and say poor Margaret was a prophetess!
live each of you the subjects to his hate,
and he to yours, and all of you to God's!'
     -Margaret; act 1, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 1, scene 4

-rebecca may

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Richard III: act 1, scene 2


i saw some devised theater today! devised theatre that has few words at that. PB&J Theatre Factory creates some engaging and clever theatre. the name of this play is Shhhh! that is all i will say. i don't want to ruin it for anyone. if you can, you should check them out.

Shakespeare time! it's gettin' good:
act 1, scene 2
   (guards enter, bearing the corpse of Henry VI. Lady Anne [widow of Henry’s son, Edward] follows.)
Anne: let’s stop for a moment. oh, Henry. my poor husband was killed by the same man who stabbed you to death. and curse him for doing so. i hope he ends up more miserable than i am now.
   (Richard enters.)
Richard: stay awhile.
Anne: go away. don’t trouble me. ‘for thou hast made the happy earth a hell.’ (she uncovers the corpse.) look, Henry’s wounds have re-opened and bleed again. i hope heaven strikes you dead, or the earth opens wide and eats you up.
Richard: you perfect woman, could it be possible that you would forgive these things i have done? let me explain.
Anne: there is no excuse you can make, except to hang yourself.
Richard: what if i say i didn’t kill them?
Anne: then they wouldn’t be dead, but they are, so you’re a liar.
Richard: it was my brother Edward that killed them.
Anne: you’re a liar. Queen Margaret saw what you did. you killed him, didn’t you?
Richard: yes. and all the better for God to have him.
Anne: yes, he is in heaven, where you will never go. you’re ‘unfit for any place but hell.’
Richard: i’m fit for one other place… your bedroom.
Anne: NO way.
Richard: it was because of your beauty that i killed them.
Anne: if i believed that, i would rip this beauty off of my face.
Richard: your husband died so you could find a better husband.
Anne: there is no one better than him on earth. go away!
Richard: i’m dying inside because i love you and you hate me. people have died all around me, and i never cried for them. but i have cried for you. if you will not love me, kill me with this sword.
   (she aims the sword at him, but drops it.)
Anne: get up. i want you dead, but i won’t kill you myself.
Richard: then tell me to kill myself and i will do it. ‘this love, which for thy love did kill thy love, shall for thy love kill a far truer love.’
Anne: ‘i wish i knew thy heart’. put your sword away.
Richard: is there hope for me? wear this ring for me. (he slips it on her finger.) go to Crosby House. i will take care of Henry, and come to see you when i am done.
Anne: i will do it. i am happy to see you are penitent. (she exits.)
Richard: did a man ever win a woman this way? (see quote below.) has she already forgotten her husband? i stabbed him 3 months ago. there never was a sweeter man. somehow she finds me to be a man worthy of her love.

so just in case you didn’t know, back then it was thought that the wounds on a dead body would bleed if the dead person was in the presence of their murderer. interesting, huh? that’s why anne says that in the scene.

um, how brilliant is Richard? he is SO freaking sneaky it’s insane. he murdered this girl’s husband and father-in-law! in one scene, he gets her to go from hating him completely to agreeing to wear his ring. i mean, come ON. that’s stellar work. i love how Shakespeare creates this character that is so incredibly villainous, but you’re glued to the page trying to figure out what he’s going to do next. i wouldn’t say i’m rooting for him, but i don’t want him to stop being dastardly either. i’m enjoying his plotting and lying immensely.

quote of the day:
'was ever a woman in this humor wooed?
was ever a woman in this humor won?
i'll have her, but i will not keep her long.'
     -Richard; act 1, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 1, scene 3

-rebecca may

Friday, February 25, 2011

Richard III: Act 1, Scene 1


what a crazy day. i feel like i go through this weird emotional roller coaster almost every day. (it's called grad school.) i feel like i'm awesome, then i feel like i'm an idiot, then i feel like i know what i'm doing, then i feel like i have no talent at all, then i feel like everything is perfect, then i feel like everyone thinks i'm a joke. it is probably brought on by 2 things: 1. being out of my comfort zone (a good thing) and being so tired all the time. that daily journey is draining. i do think it is good for me in a way because i am questioning my work, my process, my aesthetic, but it is pretty hard on the self esteem. i just need to remember when i walk out of here, i will be all the stronger for it. as an artist. as a person. AND i need to have more nights like tonight when i actually get to relax and go have fun with the cast of Vinegar Tom! work hard, play hard, right?

on to Shakespeare. this play already has me wrapped around it's finger. it starts with a bang. so much is happening already! and i feel like i understand SO much more because i've read the 3 Henry 6 plays. it's incredible. night and day from the last time i read it. moral of the story: read the Henry 6 plays. they're awesome and they will give you a whole new appreciation for this play. fact. ok here we go:

act 1, scene 1
   (Richard, near the Tower of London.)
Richard: the war is over. we were victorious, and we've traded our frowns for smiles. instead of mounting his armored horse, Edward traipses into a lady's bedroom. but i am not made for love, i am made for war. (see quote below.) i am a villain, and proud of it. i have laid a plot to pit my brothers, Edward and Clarence, against each other. there was a prophecy that 'G of Edward's heirs' will murder Edward, and Clarence is locked up for it. He thinks it's G, as in George, but really it's G as in Gloucester.
   (Clarence enters, led by Brackenbury [Lieutenant of the Tower])
Richard: what's going on?
Edward: Edward has sent me to the Tower.
Richard: why?
Clarence: because my name is George. he's obsessed with prophecies and dreams. he says that a wizard told him that he will lose everything because of G. my name is George, so that's me.
Richard: it's Lady Grey that's done it. isn't she the reason Hastings was locked up? we are not safe around her and her brother Woodville.
Clarence: and she has her spies after the king and his mistress, Jane Shore.
Richard: she will make us her servants before too long.
Brackenbury: you're not supposed to be talking like this. we've got to go.
Richard: i will talk to the king. you won't be in the Tower for long. 'i will deliver you, or else lie for you.'
   (Clarence and Brackenbury leave.)
Richard: 'go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.' i love you so much, Clarence, that i will send you to heaven.
   (Hastings enters.)
Richard: how did you handle prison?
Hastings: i'll live. and will enjoy giving 'thanks' to those who imprisoned me.
Richard: i see. and so will Clarence.
Hastings: King Edward is sick, and his doctors are not hopeful.
Richard: let's go see him. go ahead, i will follow. (Hastings exits.) he must die, but he can't until i get him to kill Clarence. i will tell Edward more lies about Clarence, and have him killed within a day. then Edward can die and i will marry Warwick's youngest daughter, Anne. i killed her husband and father, but i will have her. marrying will be most advantageous to me. Clarence will be first, then Edward, and then Anne.

i love how Shakespeare plays with words. you can get something new from this every time. for instance, Richard says to Clarence:
'well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
i will deliver you, or else lie for you.'
what does he mean by this? does he mean he will fib for him? or that he will take his place for him? or both? it's unclear. and that's exciting.

quote of the day:
'but i, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
nor made to court an amorous looking glass;
i, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty
to strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
i, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
cheated of feature by this dissembling Nature,
deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
into this breathing world scarce half made up,
and that so lamely and unfashionable
that dogs bark at me as i halt by them--
why, i, in this weak piping time of peace,
have no delight to pass away the time.'
     -Richard; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 1, scene 2

-rebecca may

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard the Third Background Info


it's the last weekend of Vinegar Tom! BOO. but the first day of Richard III. YAY! i am exhausted after only an hour and a half of sleep last night. ugh. i am so looking forward to watching the show and going to BED. no after-show fun for me tonight. i am learning the limitations of my body. i remember in undergrad i would pull an all-nighter and be recovered a day later. not anymore! man, i am a mess. good thing i've got my Vinegar Tom people to get me through the night!

Shakespeare is easy today. here's some stuff i learned:
-this play begins where 6 Henry 3 left off, and takes place over 14 years.
-Queen Margaret's presence in this is completely fabricated. in real life, she went to France and stayed there.
-as we know, i am obsessed with Margaret. from what i remember, she gets kinda crazy in this play and brings on the heat. STOKED for that.
-Richard III will be exciting for me because it is totally centered around Richard (aka Gloucester.) remember how things got really confusing before with dual main characters: Edward and Henry? not this time, kids. there are still a lot of characters, but Richard's story is the main one that we follow.
-this play explores divine causality even more than the rest in the series. that excites me because i have read before that Shakespeare himself wasn't into that way of thinking, but most of England was. i'm interested to see how that will play out.
-here's the question: is he evil because he was born ugly and everyone has treated him like crap his whole life? or was he born ugly because it was pre-ordained that he would be evil? hm... chew on that.

if you've never seen it, i highly recommend you check out Looking for Richard with Al Pacino. i don't want to give away too much, because it's completely genius, but i will say that he explores understanding and producing this play. it's really funny and insightful and just plain awesome. you'll love it!

for tomorrow: act 1, scenes 1 and 2
saturday: act 1, scene 3
sunday: act 1, scene 4

-rebecca may

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Lover's Complaint Lines 225-END


well. kids. it's that time again. time for another all-nighter! oh yes. why, you ask? well, because little miss rebecca has been so caught up in Vinegar Tom and Writes of Spring that she hasn't planned ahead for school! yay. so tomorrow, dumb dumb rebecca has two tests that she didn't start studying for until yesterday. Rebecca has to read the book Audition by Michael Shurtleff (which admittedly is very good, but only half-finished) and study architecture, costumes, and decor from 1700-1850. nice. oh yeah, and she has rehearsal from 5-9. cool. BRING IT ON. so it's an early Shakespeare day. hooray!

the good news is that Shakespeare is amazing. i struggled a lot less with this last section, and really enjoyed what i was reading. i feel like Shakespeare is saying a lot with this poem. a lot. let's see what you think about this:
(still from the young man's point of view.) he aske sher to give him her perfect hand and begs to be hers. he tells of a beautiful young girl who could have had anyone she wanted, but chose to be a nun instead. he says that there's no valor in turning away from that which you have not experienced. there's only valor if you know what you're missing. and i think he's saying that she ended up leaving the convent for him? he tells her that many have given everything to him, and he in turn wants to give it all to her. love knows no bounds, so she should let go and just be with him. love knows no rules or caution. when you are in love, can you think of what is sensible? no! all of these women's hearts depend on his. they want him to be happy, and she is what will make him happy, so she must be with him. he lowered his eyes from her and cried.
(switch to her POV) 'what a hell of witchcraft lies.' even a rock will eventually give way to water over the years, and so the maiden gave way to his tears.  she let her guard down and let's him have her. (see the AMAZING quote below.) he would blush, weep, or look pale; whatever gets his way with women. no heart can escape his game. he pretends to be what he is not. he tricks women until they give up their hearts.
she is furious, and yet she says:
'ay me! i fell, and yet do question make
what i should do again for such a sake.'
she lists off the ways in which he made her believe he loved her and concludes with:
'would yet again betray the fore-betrayed,
and new pervert a reconciled maid!'

i just had to give some direct quotes there because they were too too perfect. i love how Shakespeare shows the infinite ways in which this young man twists truths and lies to say just what the girl needs to hear to give it up to him. i feel like this poem is still so relevant today. i mean, that happens now, right? and then it breaks my heart at the end that even though he's put her through the ringer, she still wants him. she would give anything to be in ignorance of the truth again. what i interpret from that last line is he has her so twisted around his finger that she might do it again. i mean, hello, does this not happen to girls all the time? it's called abusive relationships. and mind games. crazy!

i LOVE this poem. i think it would be great in the classroom. it would be a difficult project, but there would be so much to talk about once they were getting it. check it out!

quote fo the day (brace yourself, this is beautiful):
'for, lol, his passion, but an art of craft,
even there resolved my reason into tears;
there my white stole of chastity i daffed,
shook off my sober guards and civil fears;
appear to him as he to me appears,
all melting; though our drops this difference bore:
he poisoned me, and mine did him restore.'
     -lines 295-301
heartbreaking, right?

for tomorrow: background info on The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

-rebecca may

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Lover's Complaint Lines 71-224


we went to see The King's Speech today to celebrate our first night with no rehearsal! i was pleasantly surprised to see some of my old favorites: Derek Jacobi and Jennifer Ehle. it's a lovely film. see it if you have the chance. Pride and Prejudice and A Single Man aside, i often feel like I can't quite fully buy into Colin Firth's performances. he's gorgeous and entertaining, but there is often a disconnect there for me. tonight, i didn't really feel that at all. his performance was so specific. i loved it! and now i see what all the fuss is about. check it out! it's a great film with some remarkable performances.

you know who didn't give a remarkable performance today? ME. i read half of what i wanted to read because i was reading so darn slow because i was strrrruggling. towards the end of the section, i think i was getting it a little more, but man... this stuff can be confusing! when the footnotes are as long as the text itself, it's usually a bad sign.

here's what i think happened today. feel free to correct me if i'm confused:
the young maiden says to the old shepherd that it is sorrow and not old age that makes her seem so old. she starts talking about the young man, and some of this i don't understand, but i will do my best. he is beautiful, and he enchants everyone who sees him. he has a perfect beard, which he makes look better for wearing it. his 'qualities' are just as great as his looks. he can ride a horse like none other. is it him or the horse that is so great?... it's him. he makes everything better. he can do anything, and everyone loves and wants him. he charmed many, but especially the young maiden. she didn't give in to him right away, but eventually gave him everything. she should have known better, but you never take advice when you should. no one can stop you but you and you have to learn things for yourself. she tried to hold her ground and take into consideration what she had heard about him, but he made her feel so special.
(POV switch) he tells her to trust him. he tells her that all the rumors she's heard about him have meant nothing, but the maiden does mean something to him. he has conquered all of them. (see quote below.) he makes them blush and he makes them cry. they shower him with money, poetry, jewels, all trying to be with him. they say he's just as wonderful as any gem that they give to him. but he doesn't care about any of those girls. he wants the maiden just as much as they want him.

this guy is a jerk. fact. she needs to get over him.

okay so there's this part that says, 'in his fair parts she did abide'. does that mean what i think it means? later she says she 'reserved the stalk and gave him all my flower,' which to me sounds like she didn't marry him but did have sex with him. a little later she says that she yielded a little while before she demanded him. mow. am i way off base here? because i'm pretty sure this girl is mad because she had sex with this guy who sweet-talked her into thinking she was the only one, when really there are plenty of others and she's not special at all. that's what i'm getting from this. what do you think?

quote of the day:
'among the many that mine eyes have seen,
not one whose flame my heart so much as warned,
or my affection put to th' smallest teen,
or any of my leisures ever charmed.
harm have i done to them, but ne'er was harmed;
kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free,
and reigned, commanding in his monarchy.'
     -lines 190-196

for tomorrow: lines 225-329 (which is the end)
thursday: Richard III background info

-rebecca may

And the next play will be...

several of you have urged me to go straight into Richard III instead of taking a break from the histories, so that is what i have decided to do.

Richard III is next!

background info on thursday. will jump into the play on friday. huzzah!

-rebecca may

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Lover's Complaint Background and Lines 1-70


okay. i am attempting to make a fresh start today. i don't have rehearsal for Vinegar Tom. i do have rehearsal for Writes of Spring, but i will get out 2 hours earlier! i re-started SparkPeople today with resolve. i am re-approaching Shakespeare with vigor! i will get back on the ball in school. i mean, i'm not OFF the ball, but i could be more on top of my work. and i am going to attempt to get 8 hours of sleep most nights. i can do this. i have my goals written out to be posted on my bathroom mirror. bring it ON.

i started A Lover's Complaint today. i learned that a man named Thomas Thorpe published it for the first time without Shakespeare's authorization. awesome. i guess there is some, although very little, doubt about this being Shakespeare's. apparently there are no better theories out there, and it seems like it's his. so there ya go. it is assumed it is. this poem is written in the 'complaint' style popular of that time. it is unique in that it has multiple points of view. we will have the POV of the narrator, the 'forlorn maiden', an aging shepherd, and a young man. i look forward to seeing how Shakespeare makes those transitions. and i am HOPING this one is more readable than The Phoenix and the Turtle!

here's what's up in the first 70 lines (or what i think is happening anyway):
the narrator is sitting on a hill, when he sees a 'fickle maid' who is tearing up some love letters. she is a little older, but not all of her beauty is gone. (see quote below.) the maid cries for her woes in love. her hair is a mess and her overall appearance is haphazard. she throws letters and tokens of love into the river as she cries and cries. the letters were full of lies and she rages against them. a shepherd tending his herd sees her, and is drawn to the river. he feels that he understands her and goes to sit by her side. he, being older, can offer her comfort.

i've only read a short bit, but what is most interesting to me right now is the content of the stanzas. it's so crazy how some stanzas contain SO much information and some contain very little. for instance, in one stanza we learn only that the letters were full of lies. in the next stanza, we learn that there is an old shepherd who has had a lot of experiences in life, and is drawn to the girl, and wants to know what is going on with her. i'm not saying that one is better than the other, i just think it's wild. he goes back and forth, delving deeply into minute things in one, and then giving a bunch of information in the next. that Shakespeare has some mad skills.

and YES, this is much easier to understand than The Phoenix and the Turtle. thank goodness.

quote of the day:
'upon her head a platted hive of straw,
which fortified her visage from the sun.
whereon the thought might think sometimes it saw
the carcass of a beauty spent and done.
time had not scythed all that youth begun,
nor youth all quit, but spite of heaven's fell rage
some beauty peeped through lattice of seared age.'
   -lines 8-14

for tomorrow: lines 71-end

to read Titus Andronicus or Richard III next, that is the question.

-rebecca may (still missing my Henry)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 5, Scenes 6 and 7


GAH! this play is insane. it's so insane that i went to my show today, spent time with my family from out of town, and still spent all day thinking about it. why does Shakespeare have to do this to me? i am really hoping my boyfriend and i will get to see this play at ASC on March 13! fingers crossed that it will fit into our road trip plans. i feel like i am finally at the point where i can read the plays and struggle less with what the heck is going on so i can focus more on imagining the play happening on stage. it's much more exciting, of course, to do that. like when we read a novel, we don't want to work so hard to understand what's happening that we can't imagine the characters in action. right? so to all of you who are still struggling with Shakespeare, i say please keep trying! give it some time, and it will all pay off. seriously. i'm about to start reading Titus Andronicus on wednesday. try reading along!

the end is here. get ready:
act 5, scene 6
   (Henry, Gloucester, and a Lieutenant guarding Henry)
Henry: oh, my good Lord... wait, i shouldn't say 'good' because you are far from it.
Gloucester: leave us, Lieutenant. (he does.)
Henry: and so the shepherd leaves his flock to be gobbled up by the wolves. why are you here, Gloucester? to kill me?
Gloucester: do you think i'm an executioner?
Henry: you're a persecutor. you persecute the innocent, which makes you an executioner. here's what i think: your mother hoped for a sweet baby, but got a deformed lump instead, with teeth already grown in so you could bite the world as soon as you were born.
Gloucester: shut up. (he stabs Henry.)
Henry: God forgive my sins and yours too. (he dies.)
Gloucester: go to hell. (stabs him again.)
Gloucester: i have no brother. (see quote below.)

act 5, scene 7
   (Edward, Elizabeth, and the York supporters. Edward on the throne.)
Edward: i am king once again because we have killed our enemies! come here, wife, and let me kiss my son.
(to his son.) this crown will one day be yours, and i hope you will keep it in peace.
Gloucester: grrr.
Edward: love my queen, brothers! and love my son too! (Clarence and Gloucester kiss the prince.)
Gloucester: but to tell the truth, i kiss him as a kiss from Judas.
Clarence: what will you do with Margaret?
Edward: send her off to France. let's party! 'for here i hope begins our lasting joy.'

i can't. BELIEVE. Henry. is dead. i'm in mourning. for real. i might wear black tomorrow. in fact, i will commit to that right now. i am going to wear black tomorrow in remembrance of Henry 6 who i love so much. damn that Richard of Gloucester. i've been reading about Henry for the past month and a half. and now he's gone. i can't wait for Richard to bight the dust in Richard III. he so deserves it. it was cool to finally see Henry stand up for himself, albeit a little too late. and now poor Margaret is left all alone. my next play is Titus Andronicus, but i can't wait to read Richard III to come back to this storyline and see all these York jerks get what's coming to them.

i loved this play. lOvEd LOVED this play. i thought the histories were supposed to be boring. but these plays were far from it!

quote of the day:
'i have no brother, i am like no brother;
and this word "love," which graybeards call divine,
be resident in men like one another
and not in me. i am myself alone.
Clarence, beware. thou keep'st me from the light;
but i will sort a pitchy day for thee;
for i will buzz abroad such prophecies
that Edward shall be fearful of his life,
and then, to purge his fear, i'll be thy death.'
   -Gloucester; act 5, scene 6

for tomorrow: 'A Lover's Complaint' background info and Lines 1-70
Tuesday: Lines 71-329
Wednesday: Titus Andronicus background info

4 plays, 3 poems down. 34 plays, 2 poems, and 154 sonnets to go.

-rebecca may (Lancaster for LIFE!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 5, Scenes 4 and 5


this play is INSANE! i keep thinking about how movies are written these days; most of the time, the main characters are never killed. or if there are multiple main characters, only one will die. Shakespeare kills people off right and left. i realize that what i'm reading now is based on history, but it's the same in his tragedies, right? i mean, look how many people die in Hamlet. i just feel like that doesn't really happen in mainstream entertainment these days. people would be really upset. i wonder how audiences felt about all these characters dying. did they know the history already anyway? did they react the same to the histories as they did the tragedies? were they so desensitized to this stuff that it was no big deal? anyone care to share?

brace yourselves:
act 5, scene 4
   (Margaret, Prince Edward, and their posse enter.)
Margaret: we must stay strong! (see quote below.) yes, we have lost Warwick and Montague, but don't we still have Oxford and Somerset? and France? we must stay the course, and we must have courage!
Prince: these words would turn any coward to bravery. if any of you here are cowards, leave now before we need your help.
Oxford: your grandfather lives in you, Prince Edward.
   (Edward and the York posse enter.)
Edward: let's fight!
Margaret: all right, men, listen to me. Henry has been taken captive, England is in shambles, our people are being slaughtered, and all of our money is being stolen and spent. and it is all Edward's fault. justice is on our side. to battle!

act 5, scene 5
   (Edward, Clarence, and Gloucester enter, with Margaret, Somerset, and Oxford as prisoners.)
Edward: take Oxford to prison, and behead Somerset. 'i will not hear them speak.'
Oxford: i won't trouble you with what i have to say.
Somerset: and neither will i. (they exit.)
   (soldiers enter with Prince Edward.)
Edward: there's the little jerk. let's hear what he has to say.
Prince Edward: you should speak to me like a subject to royalty, York, because that is what you are!
Margaret: if only your father had been this brave!
Prince Edward: i am better than you, Edward. you are a traitor. you have stolen my father's right to the crown, and mine.
   (Edward, Gloucester, and Clarence each stab Prince Edward. he dies.)
Margaret: kill me too! (Gloucester goes for it.)
Edward: wait, Richard. we have done too much already.
Gloucester: (aside to Clarence) excuse me, i must leave for London immediately. to the Tower!
Margaret: he was just a child. men shouldn't kill children. kill me right now! please, Clarence!
Clarence: i swore i wouldn't.
Margaret: we all know you've broken your oaths before. do it now!
Edward: take her away!
Margaret: 'so come to you and yours as to this prince!' (she is taken away.)
Edward: where is Gloucester?
Clarence: to London. he left very quickly.
Edward: he is so weird and impulsive. let's go to London too and see if my wife has had a baby yet.

so Margaret is pretty awesome these days. i don't know where she came from, but i'm kind of in love with her now. what a fun character that would be to play across this series. the arch of her character is fascinating!she just lays it all out on the line. she says what she thinks and feels, and she says it bluntly. to me, she's the fiercest female character we've had yet. i continue to be intrigued by Shakespeare's women. can't wait to read some more!

i am SO scared for Henry. i think we all know now that i'm in love with him. the truth shall be revealed tomorrow... eek! if he dies, it better be epic at least.

'great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
but cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
what thou the mast be now blown overboard,
the cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
and half our sailors swallowed in the flood?
yet lives our pilot still. is't meet that he
should leave the helm, and like a fearful lad,
with tearful eyes add water to the sea,
and give more strength to that which hath too much,
whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
which industry and courage might have saved?'
   -Margaret; act 5, scene 4

for tomorrow: the end of the play!!!

-rebecca may

Friday, February 18, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 5, Scenes 1-3


opening night for Vinegar Tom last night was wild! i was so freaking proud of all those performers and stage managers. the audience reaction was stellar. some were balling their eyes out and some were completely offended and some were dazed and confused and some were excited and it was a-may-zing. and then a cop pulled us over after and asked Julia, who was driving, in a slow and condescending voice: 'ma'am, your tail light is out. do you know what a tail light is?' and other ridiculousness. so perfect after a night of semi-feminist theater. HA. love this show. love these people. in fact, i am in the green room now with them, soaking up the gloriousness! love LoVe LOVE it. love this process from start to finish.

on to Shakespeare! this play just got real crazy!!! here goes:
act 5, scene 1
   (Warwick and others on the walls at Coventry.)
Warwick: where is my back-up?
Messengers: they are all on their way.
   (King Edward, Gloucester, and soldiers enter.)
Edward: won’t you open the city gates for us?
Warwick: will you withdraw your troops and be Duke of York?
Edward: but your king is my prisoner. answer this: what is a body without a head?
Gloucester: come on, Warwick, kneel before Edward.
Warwick: i would rather chop of my own hand than kneel to him.
Edward: i will get you. (see quote below.)
   (Oxford, Montague, and Somerset enter, with armies, separately and enter the city.)
Gloucester: the gates are open. let’s go in.
Edward: so more of them can come and surround us? no way.
   (Clarence enters. Clarence and Gloucester  whisper together. Clarence takes the red rose out of his hat and throws it at Warwick.)
Clarence: i will not ruin my father’s legacy and work against my brother, who is lawfully king. please forgive me Edward and Richard. it won’t happen again.)
Edward: welcome back! we  love you ten times more now that we know what it is to hate you.
Warwick: you’re a traitor! Edward, i will meet you at the battlefield.

act 5, scene 2
   (Edward enters with Warwick, who is wounded.)
Edward: lie there and die, Warwick, and with you dies our fear. now on to Montague. (he exits.)
Warwick: ‘i must yield my body to the earth.’ there is nothing i can do but die.
   (Oxford and Somerset enter.)
Somerset: Margaret has brought soldiers from France!
Warwick: Montague, come quickly!
Somerset: Montague is dead, Warwick, but his last words were about you.
Warwick: run away. save yourselves! i will see you in heaven. (he dies.)
Oxford: let’s go meet with Margaret!

act 5, scene 3
   (Edward, Gloucester, Clarence, etc.)
Edward: we are doing well so far, but i suspect things may still turn against us. Margaret is near here with French soldiers.
Clarence: we can take her.
Gloucester: her army will be as strong as ours.
Edward: i know where she is. let’s go get her!

here's the best thing about today's reading: Clarence is ridiculous. i LOVE when he says all this stuff about not being able to work against his father's wishes and how he can't hurt his brothers. blah blah blah. except that he DID. hello! and then Clarence and Richard are just like- sure, welcome back! how can anyone trust anyone else? i feel like that's such a huge thing in this play. war screws up families. that's the moral.

quote of the day:
'sail how thou can'st, have wind and tide thy friend,
this hand, fast wound about thy coal black hair,
shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
write in the dust this sentence with thy blood:
"wind-changing Warwick now can change no more."'
     -Edward; act 5, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of act 5?

-rebecca may

Thursday, February 17, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 4, Scenes 7 & 8


opening night. OpEnInG nIgHt OPENING NIGHT!!!!!!! Vinegar Tom woot woot. i'm so excited! let's do this blog!

the madness continues:

act 4, scene 7
   (Edward and his posse at the gates of York)
Edward: i'm going to get that crown from Henry. AGAIN.
Gloucester: why is this gate locked?
Hastings: i will knock again.
   (Mayor of York and the Alderman enter at the top of the wall.)
Mayor: we were warned you were coming, so we locked the gate to protect ourselves. our allegiance is to Henry!
Edward: sure, he's your king, but i am Duke of York.
Hastings: why do you doubt us? we are Henry's friends.
   (Mayor and Alderman enter.)
Edward: Mayor, you must not shut the gate except at night or during battle. give me my keys.
   (Montgomery enters with soldiers.)
Montgomery: i am here to help King Edward in battle.
Edward: thanks, but we are holding off awhile on the battling. i'm just a Duke for now.
Montgomery: forget that, i'm leaving if we're not fighting. i serve the King, not a Duke.
Gloucester: we are doing this now whether you like it or not. you will have plenty of followers. don't worry.
Edward: oh, all right. tomorrow we fight!

act 4, scene 8
   (Henry and his posse in London.)
Warwick: Edward is on his way!
Henry: well, let's fight him, no?
Warwick: let's gather our peops.
   (all exit but Henry and Exeter.)
Henry: Exeter, what do you think?
Exeter: i'm scared Edward will seduce everyone onto his side.
Henry: i don't fear that. i've been good to the people. (see quote below.)
   (Edward, Gloucester, and his soldiers enter.)
Edward: seize him! take him to the Tower! and let's go off to find Warwick.

i am so scared for Henry! i love him so. i would love to see how he is played by different actors. is he a coward or is he a man of integrity? of course i know it's not as simple as that, but it seems like there's a wide spectrum of ways he could be taken. what do you think? i'm basically in love with Henry. move over, Margaret! he's mine.

all i'm saying is if they kill Henry i am going to be SO mad. Warwick? sure. Exeter? Oxford? who needs 'em. but Henry must live!

opening NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

quote of the day:
'then why should they love Edward more than me?
no, Exeter, these graces challenge grace;
and when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
the lamb will never cease to follow him.'
     -Henry; act 4, scene 8

for tomorrow: act 5, scene 1... and beyond?

-rebecca may, duchess of Lancaster

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 4, Scene 6


hahahaha. i thought i would finish this act today. and have final dress for Vinegar Tom. hahaha i'm hilarious. well, i read one scene anyway. that's something. and a confusing scene it was too!

here goes:
   (King Henry and his clan at the Tower of London.)
Henry: now that we've won, what do I owe you, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant: nothing but your pardon.
Henry: for what? it wasn't your fault i was in prison, and you were nice to me while i was! and i thank God and Warwick for setting me free. how about this: i will be king by name and you can rule the country.
Warwick: thanks! but what about Clarence?
Henry: no, Warwick. it's all you.
Warwick: and i choose Clarence as Protector.
Henry: i make you both Protector. and i will spend my days in private devotion.
(some confusing stuff i don't understand between Clarence and Warwick-see question below.)
Henry: but first, let's get Margaret and my Edward from France. i won't be happy til i see them.
Clarence: done.
Henry: and who is that?
Somerset: it's young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
Henry: you are England's hope for the future. (see question and quote below.)
   (Mailman enters.)
Post: bad news. Edward of York has escaped.
Warwick: say what?!?!? how?
Post: Gloucester and Hastings helped him.
Warwick: my brother was careless with him.
Somerset: i feel a war coming on. Richmond is too important. let's hide him away so nothing bad can happen to him.
Oxford: true. if Edward wins the crown back, Richmond is going down.

i am WICKED confused about Henry, Earl of Richmond. who is he? where did he come from? why would he be the king? why wouldn't it be Edward (Henry's son)? can anyone clue me in here?

i'm also a little confused about Clarence. i get that Henry is basically telling Warwick to rule the country, but i'm confused about Clarence's part in that. HELP!

quote of the day:
'come hither, England's hope. if secret powers
suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
this pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
his looks are full of peaceful majesty,
his head by nature framed to wear a crown,
his hand to wield a scepter, and himself
likely in time to bless a regal throne.
make much of him, my lords, for this is he
must help you more than you are hurt by me.'
     -Henry; act 4, scene 6

for tomorrow: i will attempt to finish the act, but it's opening night so who knows!!!

-rebecca may, Lancaster for Life!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 4, Scenes 2-5


how is it that theater can be both the best and worst thing ever? i feel like some of the most precious moments of my life have happened within the walls of a theater. i won’t say that my worst moments have happened in a theater, that’s not true, but i feel like theater can make me feel like total crap unlike almost anything else. it’s so personal. and i hate when people say it’s not. if your art isn’t personal, then i don’t know what you’re doing. for real. it just feels like i’ve doubted myself more since i started grad school than i did in the entirety of my life previous to grad school. i know that’s good for me in a way. i know. but then there’s days like these that just make me feel… useless. just got to push through these days, continue to be resilient, and keep finding the people and places and projects that are right and a good fit. keep moving forward, right? right.

i digress to this awesome play:

act 4, scene 2
   (Warwick, Oxford, and French soldiers in England. Clarence and Somerset enter.)
Warwick: well hello there. are you on our side or what?
Clarence: oh yeah.
Warwick: cool. i will give you my daughter’s hand in marriage. now let’s go sneak up on Edward and take him. i’ve heard he’s got crappy security so it should be pretty easy. don’t kill him, just capture him.

act 4, scene 3
   (3 Watchmen guarding King Edward’s tent.)
Watchmen say some stuff about Lord Hastings being with Edward and about some other stuff that I’m really confused about. if you know, please shed some light on the subject!
   (Warwick, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset, and soldiers enter quietly.)
Warwick: here’s his tent!
   (Warwick and others chase the watchmen away. they get Edward from his tent in his nightgown. Gloucester and Hastings run away.)
Warwick: let them go. we have the Duke.
Edward: Duke? i thought i was King.
Warwick: yeah, until you disgraced me in front of the French king. (see quote below.) (Warwick takes off Edward’s crown.) this is Henry’s. take Edward to my brother, Archbishop of York. let’s go to London to free Henry.

act 4, scene 4
   (London. Elizabeth and Rivers enter.)
Rivers: why so sad?
Elizabeth: Edward is lost to us.
Rivers: he’s dead?
Elizabeth: no, but he’s been taken prisoner. and i’m pregnant!
Rivers: where is Warwick?
Elizabeth: he’s coming here to make Henry king again! i’m going to take sanctuary to save Edward’s unborn child. let’s go.

act 4, scene 5
   (Gloucester, Hastings, and Stanley in Yorkshire.)
Gloucester: my brother is prisoner to Warwick’s brother here. i’ve heard he’s got crappy security, so it should be pretty easy. i found a way to tell him that if he comes this way while the Huntsman takes him to hunt, we will be here to free him.
   (Huntsman and Edward enter.)
Gloucester: we’ve got your horse. let’s go!
Edward: hey, Huntsman, you coming with us?
Huntsman: might as well.
Edward: peace out Archbishop!

i can’t believe it. Edward’s security was weak, so Warwick was able to steal him away. you think they would have learned from that. but no. they just give him weak security again so Gloucester could steal him back. ridiculous. is this a comedy?

OMG that crap is about to hit the fan. i can feel it. i can’t WAIT!

quote of the day:
‘alas, how should you govern any kingdom,
that know not how to use ambassadors,
nor how to be contented with one wife,
nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
nor how to study for the people’s welfare,
nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?’
     -Warwick; act 4, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4, scenes 6-8

-rebecca may

Monday, February 14, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 4, Scene 1


looks like i was a little ambitious yesterday when i thought i could read so much today. oh no, it was not Valentine's day shenanigans that kept me busy. it was oversleeping, back-to-back class, and first dress rehearsal. it's a little wacko right now. just sayin'. but i did read, and i have to say that this play keeps on packin'. it's crazy! crazy awesome. enjoy.

here goes:

   (Gloucester, Clarence, Montague, and Somerset in London)
Gloucester: so what do you guys think of this Lady Grey.
Clarence: ha. of course he couldn't wait til Warwick returned.
   (King Edward, Lady Grey (now Queen Elizabeth), etc. enter.)
Clarence: i will tell him exactly how i feel. so, Edward, what the hell? France and Warwick are now against us.
Edward: they are not as important as me. i am the king after all. Gloucester, are you mad too?
Gloucester: who me? no. God forbid.
Edward: fine. tell me why you should dislike her.
Clarence: well, the king of France is your enemy now.
Gloucester: and you dishonored Warwick.
Edward: what if i could make it up to both of them?
Montague: an alliance with France would have strengthened us.
Hastings: meh. England is safe.
Edward: are you mad because i gave Hastings the wife you thought you would get? i'll get you someone.
Clarence: nope. i'm good.
Elizabeth: i want you all to like me. it upsets me that you don't.
Edward. babe, don't even worry about it. (see quote below.)
   (Mailman enters.)
Post: Lewis says to tell you that he is mad and is sending over an army to fight you. Lady Bona isn't very happy either. Margaret says she's ready to fight you. and Warwick is the most angry of all. he says that you did him wrong and he will make sure you lose your crown.
Edward: oh really? well, i have an army too. is Warwick friends with Margaret now.
Post: oh yeah. Prince Edward is going to marry Warwick's daughter.
Clarence. i am going to go get Warwick's other daughter.
   (Clarence and Somerset exit.)
Gloucester: (aside) i will stay, but not for Edward. i want that crown!
Edward: let's prepare for war. Hastings and Montague, if you want to go to Warwick, go now. i release you.
Montague and Hastings: we remain loyal to you, Edward!
Edward: 'then i am sure of victory.'

well! Edward is a cocky little thing, isn't he? i am wondering if this is going to come back to him. actually, i'm kind of hoping it does. i mean, it's kind of cool that he married who he wanted rather than who was politically correct to marry, but still. his attitude is outrageous. right?

did Clarence go to Warwick (and Henry's) side? am i confused?

quote of the day:
'my love, forebear to fawn upon their frowns.
what danger or what sorrows can befall thee
so long as Edward is thy constant friend
and their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
which if they do, yet will i keep thee safe,
and they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.'
     -Edward; act 4, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 4, scenes 2-5

-rebecca may

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 3, Scene 3


Vinegar Tom is going sooo well! we had two great runs today. just 3 more rehearsals til we open and i am wicked excited to get an audience response. this play is crazy! i wonder what Shakespeare would think of it. there are plenty of unruly women running around. ;0) in fact, i wonder what Shakespeare would think of theater today. what kind of plays would he be writing? what do you think?

on to the play because, believe me, it's intense:
   (in France. King Lewis of France, his posse, and Margaret.)
King Lewis: Queen Margaret, sit with us!
Margaret: well, i was a queen. but i am not now, so i must humble myself.
   (Lewis sits Margaret down next to him.)
Lewis: if i can help you, i will.
Margaret: Henry, the 'sole professor of my love' is banished. Edward of York has stolen the crown. if you can't help us, we are done for. Scotland would help if they could, but they can't.
Lewis: let me think on how i can help you.
   (Warwick enters.)
Warwick: i am here on Edwards' behalf to woo your sister Lady Bona. he loves her!
Margaret: that's crap. he doesn't love her. this is completely political. (see quote below.)
Lewis: wait, Margaret. let me talk more with Warwick. (to Warwick.) Warwick, is Edward for real?
Warwick: heck yes he is!
Lewis: if he is true, then our sister will be Edward's.
Margaret: Warwick, you are a dog. you've contrived this whole thing!
Lewis: Margaret, i'm still your friend. you can't blame me for doing what's best for me.
   (a postman enters, with letters for Margaret, Lewis, and Warwick.)
Lewis: hey Warwick? what does your letter say? that Edward married Lady Grey? because that's what mine says! what the hell is going on?
Warwick: i swear i had no part in this. he has dishonored me. have i forgotten that it was because of the Yorks that my father died? i am renouncing Edward and returning to Henry's side!
Margaret: Warwick, i am so happy to hear it. i forgive you!
Warwick: Lewis, if you will give us soldiers, i will take them to fight Edward.
Lewis: i will help you. tell Edward to bring it on because this means war.
Warwick: i will uncrown him and get revenge for Lady Bona.
Lewis: Warwick, i will give you 5000 men. when you need help, i will send Margaret with more. how will you pledge your loyalty?
Warwick: let's join my daughter with your son, Margaret.
Margaret: that sounds good to me.
Prince Edward: okay.
   (everyone exits but Warwick.)
Warwick: i am so pissed at Edward. i brought him up and i can tear him down. it's not really that i care about Henry, it's just that i must get back at Edward.

is this the same Margaret? remember when we first met her? she was hating on Henry, power-hungry, and in love with... Suffolk was it? crying over his severed head? look at her now! standing up to the king of France and saying Henry is her only love?!?!? will old (and maybe true) Margaret show her other face again? or is this her now? what do you think?

i also LOVE how easy it was for Warwick to switch sides. how many switches is this? at least 2. if it's that easy to switch, can't he just switch back? i mean, don't they see that? i know he gave his daughter as wife to Prince Edward, but still... we have seen this war tear families apart, so i don't really think Margaret should feel too secure. know what i mean?

oh yeah and i love that this king is marrying Lady Grey on a whim instead of the girl he's supposed to marry. who does that sound like?

quote of the day:
'look, therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage
thou draw not on thy danger and dishonor.
for thou usurpers sway the rule awhile,
yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.'
     -Margaret; act 3, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4, scenes 1-4? maybe? at least scenes 1 and 2 for sure!

-rebecca may, Lancaster for life!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 3, Scene 2


i had more fun at today's cue to cue than i think i've ever had at a tech rehearsal. it was awesome. and i'm completely beat. done. towel thrown in. but i read my shakespeare anywayyyyy. and i will get up and do it all over again tomorrow. AH!

p.s. Richard is now called Gloucester, and George is Clarence.

here's what went down in act 3, scene 2:
   (King Edward, Clarence, Gloucester, and Lady Grey.)
Edward: this woman's husband died in battle, and the rights to her land were lost to her. she is here now to get those rights back.
Gloucester. do it!
Clarence (to G): let him play his game with her.
Edward: we will think about this and let you know what we decide.
Lady Grey: please resolve this now.
Edward: how many children do you have?
Lady G: 3.
Edward: look, i'll tell you how to get your land back.
Lady G: i will do whatever you say.
Edward: your task is to love your king.
Lady G: that's easy. i am a loyal subject. i already love my king. done deal. i will leave with my land. thank you.
Edward: no, stay. by love i mean the fruits of love!
Lady G: you will have my love til death.
Edward: no, you don't understand. to be plain, 'i am to lie with thee'.
Lady G: to be plain, 'i'd rather lie in prison'.
Edward: then you won't have your husband's land.
Lady G: i can't marry you, i'm grieving.
Edward: (aside) her looks, her wit... she's perfect. she is fit for a king. she will be mine.
Lady G: it will grieve you when my sons call you father.
Edward: i have children too. my subjects are my children, and you will be their mother. you will be my queen.
Gloucester: she looks sad. i don't think she wants this.
Edward: i don't care what you think.
   (a Nobleman enters.)
Nobleman: Henry, your enemy, has been captured.
Edward: take him to the Tower. we will talk to his captors.
   (all exit except Gloucester.)
Gloucester: Edward, i hope you don't have a child with her. that's just one more person between me and the crown. Clarence is before me too. i dream of nothing but being the king. i cannot live for love. i was born with a hump on my back and one leg shorter than the other. my shape is not the shape of love. there is nothing on the earth that could give me joy other than to be king. there are many people standing between me and the crown. (see quote below.) i will have it!

that is all i got this time. stay tuned for future entries with more insight than this one.

quote of the day:
'why, i can smile, and murder whiles i smile,
and cry "content" to that which grieves my heart,
and wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
and frame myself to all occasions.'
     -Gloucester; act 3, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 3, scene 3

-rebecca may

Friday, February 11, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 3, Scene 1


it's a short one today kids. why? because tomorrow is 12 hours of cue to cue and i need to sleep! i had an amazing rehearsal for Vinegar Tom today. it was the first time in a long time that i felt like i was back in my element as a director. i had some really great one-on-one time with a few actors and with the band. i felt so good about all of it, and started to get some of that old confidence and clarity back that used to come to me so easily. we have some wonderfully open and brave actors in this show, and it's such a pleasure to work with them every day. it makes the all-nighters and emotional wringer completely worth it. it's six days til we open. this is the time where you either realize the show is a disaster or it's going to be amazing. i don't want to jinx it or anything, but i'm feeling optimistic! our team is beautiful. and they work so hard. and i am blessed to spend my evenings with them. that's all there is to it.

now that that tangent is over, here's how act 3 opens:
   (2 men with crossbows in the woods.)
First Keeper: let's hide here. the deer will come and we will get the biggest one.
   (Henry enters, disguised. the men stay hidden.)
Henry: i snuck away from Scotland. (see quote below.) everything about my old life has been stolen from me! no man cares what i have to offer them, because i can't offer anyone anything.
First Keeper: that's Henry! let's get him!
Second Keeper: no wait. let's hear a little more.
Henry: Margaret and Edward went to France to ask for help. and Warwick went too! Margaret may win him, but i fear Warwick may have a leg up on her. she's coming to beg for help and he's coming to offer a marriage proposal. she cries and he smiles. oh poor Margaret. i fear you will fail!
   (the men emerge.)
Second Keeper: who are you? you talk as if you were a king.
Henry: i am a king, in my mind. and i wear my crown in my heart.
Second Keeper: whatever. you're the old King Henry. we are arresting you. we are sworn to King Edward!
Henry: aren't i the king? aren't you sworn to me?
First Keeper: we were while you were the king.
Henry: what, am i dead?
First Keeper: Edward is the true king, and we are loyal to him!
Henry: you would be loyal to me if i was where he is, but i will follow whatever is God's will and let you take me.

is Henry wishing for his old life back? wasn't he wishing to be a common man a few weeks ago? isn't that kind of what he is now? interisting. is Henry having grass is greener complex? what do you think?

it must be so hard to play Henry. he is so loveable, but it would be hard to keep him in that zone and out of the annoying-shut-up-i-wish-you-would-die-already zone. i would love to see this play. anyone have experiences to share?

quote of the day:
'from Scotland am i stol'n, even of pure love,
to greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
no, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine!'
     -Henry; act 3, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 3, scene 2

-rebecca may (still definitely with the Lancasters)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 2, Scene 6


so... after an all-nighter and some consideration, i have come to a realization/decision. until Vinegar Tom opens, which is next Thursday, my blog just has to be short and sweet. it's unfortunate, but it just has to be. it's important to take care of myself, right? one of the actors from the show told me the other day that she had been trying to keep up, but at some point gave up. i told her, as i said here before, that this can't be a chore. the minute Shakespeare becomes a chore is the minute it stops being fun. and if it stops being fun, i won't make it. so i have to have some give and take, as you all should too. if you find reading this to be a chore, take a break! i will continue to read and write every day, but for the next 8 days i am going to try to take care of myself a little better than i have been. and if i do that i will be able to serve this project far better in the long-run.

act 2, scene 6. here we go!
   (Clifford enters with an arrow in his neck.)
Clifford: (see quote of the day.) my death will weaken Henry's power and strengthen York's. and all of the commoners will flock to York like gnats to the sun! i have no way to flee here, and if my enemies find me, they will show no mercy on me.
   (Clifford faints. Edward, Warwick, etc. enter.)
Edward: they've fled. let's rest. do you think Clifford was with them?
Warwick: no way. Richard shot him with an arrow!
   (Clifford groans. and dies.)
Richard: who was that?... it's Clifford!
Warwick: go get York's head off of the gate and let's put Clifford's head there instead. can you hear us, Clifford? i think he's dead.
Richard: i wish he could hear. maybe he can, it is his policy to fake and lie.
   (George, Richard, Edward, and Warwick mock Clifford's dead body.)
Richard: he's dead. i would chop off my right hand just to get two hours to do whatever i want to him.
Warwick: behead him! and let's head to London to crown you King, Edward. i will go to France from there to secure the french queen's sister for your queen! we will tie France and England back together again.
Edward: Richard, i will make you Duke of Gloucester. George, you will be Duke of Clarence.
Richard: no! let me be Duke of Clarence!
Warwick: hush. Richard, you will be Duke of Gloucester. now, let's off to London!

Clifford enters. with an arrow. in. his. neck. WOAH. i sure want to see that. intense!

sometimes i feel like Warwick is babysitting Edward, Richard, and George. anyone else get that impression? anyone know how old they are right now?

quote of the day:
'here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster, i fear thy overthrow
more than my body's parting with my soul!'
     -Clifford; act 2, scene 6

for tomorrow: act 3, scene 1 and maybe 2

-rebecca may (still of Lancaster)

3 Henry 6: Act 2, Scene 5


dear rebecca, you are an idiot. you woke up 3 hours after the time you set your alarm. and you spent too long at Target picking out your audition outfit for tomorrow. and you spent 5 hours at rehearsal. now you have to pull an all-nighter to get your work done. and then you'll be up late again tomorrow. and then you're going to get sick. and then you're going to be miserable when Vinegar Tom opens. and that. will suck. all because your subconscious mind turned off BOTH of your alarms this morning. cool.

on with the show:
   (Henry enters alone.)
Henry: this battle continuously sways back and forth between the Lancasters and Yorks. Margaret and Clifford made me leave because they say they do better when i'm gone. i think i would be happier if i had a simpler life. i could enjoy time in a new way. (see quote of the day.)
   (a son enters with a dead man.)
Son: i killed this man in battle. i will take his money, and maybe i will be killed and these coins stolen by someone else. who is this? oh my God, this is my father. i fought for the king and he fought for York and i killed him, not knowing who he was!
   (he and Henry weep. a father enters.)
Father: (he says basically the same thing the son has just said. he accidentally killed his son.)
Henry: if only i could die and stop these horrible things from happening to them!
Son: how will my mother take this?
Father: how will my wife take this?
Henry: how will my country take this?
   (Son exits with body.)
Father: 'for from mine heart thine image ne'er shall go.'
   (Father exits with body. Margaret, Prince Edward, and Exeter enter.)
Prince: let's go, father! all your friends have fled and your enemies are in pursuit!
Margaret: Richard and Edward will be upon us any moment. let's go!
Henry: i do not fear staying here, but i do love to go where the queen goes.

my only question is, why would Shakespeare do this thing with the father/son twice? like, i get it that he's showing that families are being ripped apart, but i thought he was a better editor than that. when the father enters, we know what's going to happen. it feels so out of place. i wonder if a lot of people cut this when they produce this play.

i still love Henry. his monologue is beautiful. to me, he seems like a sane man in a crazy world. it feels like he's the only one who gives a crap that all these people are dying. what do you think?
quote of the day:
'gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
to shepherds looking on their silly sheep
than doth a rich embroidered canopy
to kings that fear their subjects' treachery?'
   Henry; act 2, scene 5

for tomorrow: act 2, scene 6 and maybe act 3, scene 1

-rebecca may (still a Lancaster for now.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 2, Scenes 2-4


woohoo! what a day! i had 3 classes, did my homework, finished my Shakespeare early, and had a crazy rehearsal. tonight was our first rehearsal for Vinegar Tom in the theater, and the set is amazing!!! we open in 9 days. ah! i was just thinking about how amazing it is to go from page to stage. reading Vinegar Tom for the first time, it seemed so problematic to me. there's so many locations and the scenes are so short. and now, through a true collaboration, we have this brilliant set designed by our brilliant Benson Knight that i can't even believe! all things are possible through art. and every once in awhile, you get a reminder of that. and it feels pretty darn good. that being said, i would like to reiterate that i am interested in hearing about other people's productions of these plays! how does Shakespeare move from page to stage? have you done or seen or heard about productions of the plays we are reading? if so, DO TELL!

on to the crazy adventures of the Yorks and Lancasters:

act 2, scene 2
   (Henry, Queen Margaret, etc arrive at the gates of York.)
Margaret: there is York's head. doesn't that cheer you up, Henry?
Henry: it irks my soul to see that.
Clifford: my king, you must lay aside your pity. you have a wonderful son and you have disinherited him. you seem as though you don't love him. even stupid beasts love and protect their children. for shame. look at him!
Henry: don't you know 'that things ill got had ever bad success?' (see quote below.)
   (Henry knights his son, Prince Edward. Messenger enters.)
Messenger: Warwick is coming with 30,000 men, proclaiming Edward Duke of York as our king!
Clifford: Henry, you should leave. Margaret works best when you're gone.
Henry: i'm staying.
Northumberland: then you should fight.
   (Warwick, Edward, Richard, and co. enter)
Edward: i am the real king. kneel before me!
Richard: Clifford, you killed Rutland?
Clifford: yep. and your father. and i'm still not satisfied.
Richard: for God's sake, let's fight right now.
Margaret: hey Warwick. last time i saw you, you were running from me. fleeing!
Warwick: that was my turn to fly. this is yours.
Henry: enough of this. let me speak.
Margaret: speak against them or be quiet.
Henry: i am the king. i can speak whatever and whenever i please.
Edward: will you make me king or not?
Warwick: if you don't, we will fight and innocent blood will be on your hands.
Edward: Henry's father was a worthy man, and maybe Henry could be if he didn't take a beggar woman as a wife.
George: we will never leave until we take you down.

act 2, scene 3
   (Warwick runs in.)
Warwick: i must rest!
   (Edward [York] and George enter.)
George: everything is falling apart. should we flee?
Edward: no way!
   (Richard enters.)
Richard: Warwick, have you quit again? your half-brother, Salisbury, died in battle. his last request was that you avenge his death!
Warwick: let's fight! we will all probably die in this battle, but i vow to God not to quit! i will kill my own horse to prevent myself from fleeing!
Edward: and i vow the same.
George: let's get our troops together.

act 2, scene 4
   (Richard and Clifford meet.)
Richard: i've got you now. this arm is for my father, and this one is for my brother. i will use them to kill you.
Clifford: this is the hand that killed your father, and this is the one that killed your brother. i will use them to kill you!
   (they fight. Warwick enters. Clifford runs off.)
Richard: find some other prey, Warwick. Clifford is mine.

with everyone avenging everyone else's deaths... no one is going to be left by the end of the play! it's nuts!

it's official. as of today, i love Henry. i love this quote of the day. i feel like his moral compass is so much stronger than anyone else's. and then later he kind of stands up to Margaret when he tells her he's the king so he can talk whenever he wants. go Henry! of course, then he doesn't follow through with it, but maybe he's taking baby steps? maybe? i hope?

ooh i also found out in my lovely footnotes today that the Yorks nicknamed Clifford 'the butcher' because of his cruel murders. nice. Richard or Clifford? Clifford or Edward? Warwick or Clifford? who will it be? i feel like Clifford has to die in this play, but who will do it? and who will he take down along the way?

quote of the day:
'but, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
that things ill got had ever bad success?
and happy always was it for that son
whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
i'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
and would my father had left me no more!
for all the rest is held at such a rate
as brings a thousandfold more care to keep
than in possession any jot of pleasure.
ah, cousin York, would thy best friends did know
how it doth grieve me that thy head is here!'
   -Henry; act 2, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 2, scenes 5 and 6

-rebecca may of the house of Lancaster

Monday, February 7, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 2, Scene 1


okay. here it goes. some honesty: i'm stinky from dance class, tired from rehearsal, have too much homework left to do, and want nothing more than to go to bed. right NOW. my wonderful friend alexis told me that i should be honest with how i feel when i approach my blog, so that is what i'm doing. i'm frustrated that people rarely comment and feel like maybe my blog is just too boring to read? so basically i'm a little BLAHHH coming into this. (which helps, right? lol) it has nothing to do with Shakespeare and everything to do with me. i will do my best to overcome and come up with solutions instead of making more problems. yes. yes. yes.

i can do this. here goes:
   (Edward and Richard several days after the last battle.)
Edward: I wonder what happened to our dad. what's wrong, Richard?
Richard: i can't be happy until i know what happened to our fierce, brave father.
Edward: 'dazzle mine eyes, or do i see three suns?' (more later on this.) (and see quote below.)
   (Messenger enters.)
Messenger: your father was killed!
Richard: how?
Messenger: he was surrounded. many subdued him, but Clifford and Margaret killed him.
Edward: Clifford, you killed my father in a treacherous way. if you had fought him fairly, he would've won.
Richard: tears do nothing. i will show our father my love by avenging his death.
   (Warwick, Montague, and their army enter.)
Richard: our father is dead!
Warwick: i'm sorry to add even more problems to your plate, but i must. after i heard of your father's death, i tried to intercept Margaret and his army, but our soldiers were so scared that they had no heart to fight. we had to flee.
Richard: let us show our love for our father by avenging his death!
Warwick: that's why i came! i think they have 30,000 men. we have about 25,000. let's go to London!
Edward: i will lean on you, Warwick, and let you guide me.
Warwick: and soon you will be King of England, Edward.
Richard: we're coming Clifford, and either i will kill you or you will kill me.
   (Messenger enters.)
Messenger: Queen Margaret is coming and wants to meet with you.
Warwick: perfect. let's go.

so, this sun thing is cool. my footnotes tell me that Edward thought he saw three suns that day, and thought it was a good omen. why did he have this vision? no clue. tired? dehydrated? he then used an image of a sun as his emblem in battle. that is SUPER random, but i kind of love it. i don't know what other significance might be there. anyone have some input?

i don't have anything really exciting to say this time. i do feel like the play really slowed down today. maybe we needed a rest because things will be picking up in the next scenes? we shall see! but for now, I MUST SLEEP!

quote of the day:
'tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
i think it cites us, brother, to the field,
that we, the sons of brave Planatagenet,
each one already blazing by our meeds,
should notwithstanding join our lights together
and overshine the earth as this the world.
whate'er it bodes, henceforward will i bear
upon my target three fair-shining suns.'
   -Edward; act 2, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 2, scenes 2 and 3

-rebecca may

Sunday, February 6, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 1 Scene 4


this play is crazy!!! i seriously don't know what to do with myself. i officially cannot predict what the heck is going to happen. i also don't know whose side i am on. i'm not sure if that is Shakespeare's intention. if it is... job well done. okay i can't even talk about something else, you just have to hear this. i was shocked after the first line:

York: Queen Margaret and her army have won! my uncles have died, my followers fled, and God knows what has happened to my sons. here come her followers. i am too faint to flee.
   (Margaret, Clifford Northumberland Prince Edward, etc. enter.)
Northumberland: yield to us, York.
Clifford: you are fighting a losing battle.
   (Clifford threatens York with his sword.)
Margaret: calm down, Clifford!
   (they capture York.)
York: 'so triumph thieves on their conquered booty;' and real men yield when they are outmatched by thieves.
Margaret: what, were you going to be King of England? where are all your sons to help you? where is your little Rutland? this napkin is stained with his blood. (she gives it to him.) if i didn't hate you so much, i would pity you. what, no tears for your son? York can't speak without a crown on his head! (she puts a paper crown on his head.) yes, now you're a king. you are breaking your oath! take him and kill him.
Clifford: let me do it and avenge my father's death.
Margaret: wait, let's hear what he has to say.
York: Margaret, you are poison. 'how ill-beseeming is it in thy sex to triumph.' where do you get off? who is your father? a poor nobody? beauty makes women proud, but God knows you are not beautiful. (see quote below.) i will weep, and every tear cries to avenge Rutland's death. (he weeps.)
Northumberland: i can't believe this, but i actually feel bad for him.
York: Rutland's face was so sweet that even cannibals would have left him alone. even my enemies weep for him. Clifford, kill me.
Margaret: Northumberland, are you crying? remember all the wrong he has done!
Clifford: this is for the oath. and this is for my father.
   (Clifford stabs him.)
Margaret: and this is for our gentle king.
   (Margaret stabs him. York dies.)
Margaret: chop his head off and set it on his gate so the Duke of York may overlook the town of York.

crazy, right? i did not anticipate this at all. i thought this play was going to be Henry vs. York. well, it's act 1 and York is dead and Henry hasn't shown his face since scene 1. the first two plays in this series were at least somewhat predictable to me, but this one is different. from here, i would predict that York's eldest son would try to avenge his father's death. i also think that Clifford will probably be killed by one of York's sons. as for Henry and Margaret? i'm really not sure, but i am excited to find out.

as for Margaret, i don't know whether to love or hate her, but i do know that she is one fierce lady. she continues to surprise me. the way she talks to York, mocking and prodding him? she has major cajones. add her to the unruly women list with Adriana from Comedy of Errors (not nearly as outlandish as Margaret), Joan of Arc from 1 Henry 6, and Eleanor from 2 Henry 6. they've all surprised me, but Margaret takes the cake. who could top this? will she pay for her behavior? in what way? what do you think?

quote of the day:
'o tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide!
how couldst thou drain the lifeblood of the child,
to bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
and yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
bidd'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish.
wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will.
for raging wind blows up incessant showers,
and, when the rage allays, the rain begins.' (he weeps.)
     -York; act 1, scene 4

for tomorrow: act 2, scene 1 and hopefully scene 2

-rebecca may