19 Plays in 59 Days

I’ve been away from the blog, but that doesn’t mean I stopped thinking about Shakespeare. I’ve basically got a year of thinking to fill you in on. The Winter's Tale

One big undertaking in 2010 was my Summer Shakespeare extravaganza. I made sure to see as many productions of the Bard as I could within a 2 month period. It was sort of a challenge to myself to see if I could, to see what was out there, and just for the sake of seeing more theatre. I scoured the net for theaters near and far that were producing Shakespeare and I came up with a list. Then came time to schedule them… that was complicated. Eventually I had my schedule of shows to see. After all was said and done I saw 19 shows on my list within 59 days. I saw a few in the weeks after as well, but that would ruin my excellent title.

Here is THE LIST:

  • As You Like It
  • Comedy of Errors
  • Hamlet
  • Julius Caesar
  • King Lear (x2)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (x4)
  • Measure for Measure
  • Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Othello
  • Twelfth Night (x2)
  • The Winter’s Tale (x2)

In just 2 months I saw 13 different plays! Yes, I saw FOUR different productions of Midsummer. Let’s just say that I’m okay with taking a break from that show for just a little while. omedy of Errors - Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, Thousand Oaks, CA

I should add, just for fun, that outside of those 2 months in 2010 I also saw The Tempest, Macbeth, and another Merry Wives of Windsor. Which would bring my total year count to seeing 22 productions of 15 different plays.

I put a lot of miles on my car, driving 100 miles north for one and a similar distance south for another, as well as everything in between. One great thing about summer Shakespeare is that a lot of companies produced it and offered it for free in a park. To be exact, 9 of the above productions were absolutely free. Good thing too, or I would’ve broken the bank just on theatre tickets.

The productions ranged from college and community theatre to huge regional theatre productions. Quality also had a huge range, but was not at all directly related to budget. The most expensive production I saw may have been one of the least effective at telling the story, while some of the amateur productions had some great talent to keep me interested.

I could go on for days about each production if I wanted to. Some were very good, some were very bad. A few made me happy and others made me mad. I should specify that I only got mad at professional productions — they had all the potential in the world and yet failed to deliver. An amateur production, no matter the quality, is done for the love of it and could never upset me.

Yes, I saw 22 productions of just SHAKESPEARE in a year. How many total performing arts events did I attend in 2010? 86.

I’ll try to find some specific lessons learned or things to point out in future posts. Till then, any questions?