My grief lies onward and my joy behind* – SONNET 50



Because the scripts are finished at last.

I mean, they’re not printed or hole-punched or anything; that’s not my department.

But all the punctuation is bolded so as to be unavoidable and therefore dealt with. Period spelling is retained except where it was guaranteed to cause more harm than help. Judicious trimming has been done out of respect for our airplane-, siren-, darkness-, beersale-heavy urban surroundings, as well as the basic health of a group of actors who will have to do all three shows consecutively one afternoon/night in July (the racist parts are gone too – “Ethiope” hasn’t aged well, Mr. S.). Every expurgated “God” has been reinstated where the Folio was legally forced put “Heaven” in Richard II. Tiny histories of the individuals Shakespeare adhered to the biographies of when it was dramatically expedient. Every i dotted, and in some cases turned into a j.

And, this year, notes. So many notes. Notes that shouldn’t be overwhelming to have on hand, but were a little overwhelming to compile. Notes that I hope no one takes as insulting because you never know what words a person has come across or never had to say aloud or what a definition or paraphrase for clarity is going to trigger when learning lines and seeking to grok the situations in which the lines are spoken. And some are just thoughts about the bigger WTF moments: the “Leonato had a silent wife?” (solution: cut); the “who the hell is Woodstock, exactly” issue hanging over our heads (solution: prologue); and that whole thing with Portia’s “voluntary wound” in the thigh (solution: hope for the best).

Plus a few of those fancy “circles” from Ben & David Crystal’s Shakespeare’s Words book/site. I love those.

Which all means I can at last stop poring over every single line in three plays and start working on just those for which I’m responsible, lest I be embarrassingly bad on stage.

Always a concern. And if you’ve seen me on stage, a legitimate one.




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