And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
In the wake of a shipwreck, Viola loses her twin brother Sebastian and finds herself alone in the country of Illyria. She disguises herself as a man for safety, and presents herself at the court of Duke Orsino to try her fortunes. The Duke is lovesick for the lady Olivia:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
He takes Viola ("Cesario") on and employs her as a go-between in his wooing. Olivia is in mourning for her father and brother, and has no interest in the Duke's love messages. His refreshingly candid messenger, on the other hand....
.... How now!
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth
To creep in at mine eyes.
Meanwhile Olivia's prissy steward Malvolio, seeking to maintain decorum in her household, makes enemies of her boisterous uncle Sir Toby Belch, her saucy attendant Maria, and her fool Feste.
Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?
The irrepressible join league against the repressive and soon mischief is afoot.
Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?
".... In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
LOCATION & LOGISTICS: We'll be in the downstairs meeting room at the University branch of Seattle Public library at NE 50th and Roosevelt Way NE. (This event is not sponsored by the Seattle Public Library.) See here for directionshttp://www.spl.org/locations/university-branch/uni-getting-to-the-branch A lot of buses go nearby, and there's free parking in the library lot or on 9th Ave NE - 2 hr parking in front of the homes on 9th or unlimited parking along the edge of the playfield on 9th south of 50th, or a bit further north on 9th above 50th, in front of the school or church where the yellow School Load Only signs are (they aren't in effect on Sat.).
We can bring food into the meeting room as long as we clean up afterwards. (You might want to check out the University District Saturday Farmers' Market before hand, just a few blocks east on NE 50th between Brooklyn and University Way.)
This is one of the shorter plays, but we do read the whole thing, so with distributing parts, break and optional discussion afterwards, allow a few hours for it.
Bring a copy of the text if you have one, but if you don't, don't worry - there are usually some extras, or we can share. It's great to read or watch the play before hand, but it's not necessary. It does help to be familiar with the basic plot.
You can find a synopsis at this useful site: http://www.shakespeareswords.com/Play-Synopse.aspx?IdPlay=21
When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.
Bring some lightness into these short days by reading with with us,
And we'll strive to please you every day.