Tuesday, July 30, 2013
A Midsummer Day's Shakespeare on Lake Tahoe
Among the bikers, boaters, back-packers, and hikers at Lake Tahoe, you can also enjoy a little Shakespeare at the breathtakingly gorgeous Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, located in Sand Harbor State Park.
We took our granddaughter Kayla to a rollicking production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," produced for children as part of the Tahoe Shakespeare Festival's education program. Kayla is nine and will be in fourth grade. This was her first Shakespeare production. I tried to share a bit of the storyline with her yesterday, but she promptly scolded me: "Grandma, don't tell me what happens." I granted Kayla's wish.
That she didn't know the story didn't hinder her enjoyment or understanding of the multiple plots.
When I asked Kayla her favorite part, she replied: "The part when the two boys were fighting for the same girl." Of course, she was describing Demetrius and Lysander arguing about Helena.
Kayla was also able to describe the spell Puck mistakenly cast on Lysander. But she was a bit confused about the play within the play and thought Bottom (Pyramus) had actually died.
After the show the children were invited to meet the cast. Kayla fixated on the actress who played Helena and even thought to ask her how long she has been acting.
At times we forget Shakespeare wrote for the masses and, in doing so, forget it's not necessary to understand every line of the Bard to enjoy his plays. My nine-year-old granddaughter illustrates this truth. She's already asking when we're going to another performance.
The Tahoe Shakespeare Theater's cutting of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ran a little over an hour and maintained all the most enjoyable parts in a coherent and easy to follow format.
Puck's final speech is one of my favorites and seems an appropriate way to end a post about a vacation fantasy experience. For what are vacations if not fantasies and dreams made real?
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends."