I came across a review of a show that was very intriguing to me. It’s called Choose Your Own Shakespeare.
Did you ever read those action series novels Choose Your Own Adventure when you were younger? Or maybe you still do. It’s sort of like that. The actors have many scenes and monologues in memory and ask the audience which way they want the story to go. It sounds really really cool.
The reviewer here, however, thought that the performance was lacking. Not energy or talent from the cast but in the structure of the show. He complains that much of the show seemed to be pre-planned already and that certain scenes and soliloquies came out of nowhere. Either way I’d really like to see something like this.
I think it’s a really good idea. Shakespeare wrote so much, scenes to cover the entire scope of multiple stories of people’s lives. Shakespeare’s writing can inform against all occasions. There are dozens of parallels between his plays and it wouldn’t necessarily be too difficult to pick multiple ways to transition to a scene in another play, if you have a very clever team putting together the show.
Productions such as this one can really point out the universality of Shakespeare’s works. How enormous the breadth of his canon is and how wide is his influence and even the versatility of his words. It’s awesome. Not awesome like a well played baseball game — full of awe. AWEsome.