English Renaissance

Shakespeare, Jack, and the Beanstalk

In the child’s story "Jack and the Beanstalk", the giant living at the top of the beanstalk says, “Fee-fi-fo-fum!” In Shakespeare's "King Lear," the character of King Lear cries, “Fie, fie, fie; pah, pah!” Shakespeare uses many “oaths” and exclamations throughout his work.

Shakespeare Behind Bars and Courage

Even before I had heard about the Shakespeare Behind Bars program, I was astonished at how powerful Shakespeare’s words are. Shakespeare has inspired many people I personally know. The plays have entertained and delighted audiences for centuries. But in my wildest dreams I would have never believed how life-changing being a part of a Shakespeare production could be. Matt Wallace, Director of the program says this about the inmates: “Their courage and character continue to inspire me.”

Shakespeare Behind Bars and Comedy

One may believe that there isn’t much room for “improv” in a Shakespeare production because the text that is, Shakespeare’s words are usually the star of the show. Directors have cut lines to modernize some of the plays to a manageable two-hour performance (Stratford is notorious for this method.) Purists argue that it just isn’t Shakespeare when artistic adjustments are made – whatever the reason. I admit that simultaneously I am intrigued by and repulsed by the thought of removing scenes or lines. Matt Wallace found a workable balance in his Shakespeare Behind Bar’s production of The Merchant of Venice.
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