Monday, March 30, 2009

Shakespeare Reading Group

As I mentioned in an earlier post...I am a participant in an online reading group for Shakespeare. We are just starting MacBeth and already it's going really well. Other participants include a NY actor who has played roles in shakespeare, an avid book enthusiast in Norwich England, a former administrator for a Shakespeare theatere, another avid reader in Singapore.

It's a fairly down to earth group of folks who just love reading together. We just finished off a discussion of All's Well That Ends Well.

We came up with the idea to read one scene every two days. It makes for a great option of taking your time...and finding time in a busy schedule to participate. Of course some people can read ahead but we try to skip spoilers, even with his well-known plays.

Here is our reading/discussion schedule for MacBeth

March 27: Act 1, Scene 1: A desert place.
March 29: Act 1, Scene 2: A camp near Forres.
March 31: Act 1, Scene 3: A heath near Forres.
April 2: Act 1, Scene 4: Forres. The palace.
April 4: Act 1, Scene 5: Inverness. Macbeth's castle.
April 6: Act 1, Scene 6: Before Macbeth's castle.
April 8: Act 1, Scene 7: Macbeth's castle.
April 10: Act 2, Scene 1: Court of Macbeth's castle.
April 12: Act 2, Scene 2: The same.
April 14: Act 2, Scene 3: The same.
April 16: Act 2, Scene 4: Outside Macbeth's castle.
April 18: Act 3, Scene 1: Forres. The palace.
April 20: Act 3, Scene 2: The palace.
April 22: Act 3, Scene 3: A park near the palace.
April 24: Act 3, Scene 4: The same. Hall in the palace.
April 26: Act 3, Scene 5: A Heath.
April 28: Act 3, Scene 6: Forres. The palace.
April 30: Act 4, Scene 1: A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
May 2: Act 4, Scene 2: Fife. Macduff's castle.
May 4: Act 4, Scene 3: England. Before the King's palace.
May 6: Act 5, Scene 1: Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle.
May 8: Act 5, Scene 2: The country near Dunsinane.
May 10: Act 5, Scene 3: Dunsinane. A room in the castle.
May 12: Act 5, Scene 4: Country near Birnam wood.
May 14: Act 5, Scene 5: Dunsinane. Within the castle.
May 16: Act 5, Scene 6: Dunsinane. Before the castle.
May 18: Act 5, Scene 7: Another part of the field.
May 20: Act 5, Scene 8: Another part of the field.

I find the reading time frame for discussing really relaxing. Shakespeare really comes alive with a group reading...and then we have sought out film versions of the plays to discuss once we've gotten through the text. It's very accessible and reveals how very rich, layered but entertaining...mostly entertaining reading and watching Shakespeare's play can be.

Anybody out there wanna join us?


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