"The Comedy of Errors" recap and announcing "Romeo and Juliet"

From: Andrew J.
Sent on: Saturday, March 17, 2012 5:01 PM

The Comedy of Errors was a smaller gathering than Macbeth (just 7 of us), but this play has a much smaller cast so our company was just the right size. The play itself is a rather silly and contrived farce, but it's fun and has some good and bawdy moments. It led into a terrific discussion about the nature of farce (how the characters act like parts in a machine rather than independent agents), comedy versus tragedy and how differently the plays would have been received in Shakespeare's time - I was fascinated to learn that there was no concept of the "fourth wall" back then.

Next time: One of the best loved, most famous and most frequently staged plays of all time, it has become almost synonymous with the archetype of young love, especially one marked by fate. I can't sum it up better than Shakespeare himself does in the prologue:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

My house is easy to get to from the #2, #8 and #11 bus lines and there is plentiful free street parking. You're welcome to bring whatever you'd like to eat and/or drink. I'm aware that some people might be hesitant to meet at a private house rather than a public place (especially those who haven't been to a reading before) - if this describes you please let me know (the more people we have for whom this is the case, the harder I'll try to find a new location).

For more details, see the full listing: http://www.meetup.com/shakespeare-50/events/56768272/

When: Saturday, March 31,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Andrew's house, Madison Valley
104 31st Ave E (between E Denny Way and E John St, the brown house with 2 car garage)
Seattle, WA 98112
[masked]

It's not necessary to read the play beforehand, but it's easier to understand what's going on if you familiarize yourself with the plot first. Please bring copies of the text if you have them, but if you don't then don't worry about it - someone might bring multiple copies and at a pinch there's always somebody who doesn't mind sharing.

The play will probably take about 2.5 hours to read. With distribution of parts, introductions, interval and discussion, we'll probably be done by about 5pm. After we finish the play, attendees will be able to vote on the next play that we read (for the April 14th meeting). I think it'll be comedy time again - I suggest we choose between Cymbeline (which we haven't read for a long time) and The Two Noble Kinsmen (which we've never read). Though if anybody has any particular requests please let us know.

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