Monday, July 9, 2012

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: This Friday!

The Next Stage Ensemble performs The Winter's Tale at 7 p.m. this Friday, July 13 (as well as The Marriage of Figaro on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m.) Can you believe this is the seventh year that BHPL is sponsoring Shakespeare in the Parking Lot?  Given its popularity, perhaps it's not so surprising.  The play will be performed in the parking lot behind the library, so bring lawn chairs to sit in. If it rains, stop by the library before the performance to find out the rain location.  This one-hour adaptation is suitable for ages 8 and up. has a great summary of the play. If you have any 6th to 12th graders in your household, sign them up for the Shakespeare for Teens class at the library on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. through July 24.

A sad tale's best for winter: I have one / Of sprites and goblins. - William Shakespeare, A Winter's Tale

Perdita, of The Winter's Tale, by the pre-Raphelite Frederick Sandys

Some fun facts about The Winter's Tale:

The Winter's Tale shares elements of both comedy and tragedy, which has led to its classification as a "problem play" or "romance".

The first half of the play takes place in Sicily.  The second half of the play takes place 16 years later in Bohemia.

Hermione of the Harry Potter books was named after Hermione of The Winter's Tale. Hermione is the Queen of Sicily, and unfairly accused by her husband of cheating on him with his best friend. (Dorcas is another name J.K. Rowling probably took from The Winter's Tale.)

The play contains Shakespeare's most famous stage direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear."  Wikipedia says "it is not known whether Shakespeare used a real bear from the London bear-pits, or an actor in bear costume". Exit, Pursued by a Bear is also the name of a band, a play, a theatre, and a video hoax.

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