The Bard Rocks!

Toward the end of a sweltering summer day, a small crowd of theater-goers gathered inside an old mining shack to watch two actors perform short scenes from some of the most famous plays on earth. The stuffy air and the tin walls made the moment feel anachronistic, but it wasn’t – Shakespeare was a huge hit in the rough-and-tumble frontier towns of the Old West, often sporting rival troupes and playhouses. Apparently, a lot of Macbeth made the rounds. What’s fair is foul and foul is fair…

2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death and to mark the occasion his plays were celebrated and performed all over the world, including a tiny mine shack in Madrid, New Mexico. I wonder how many plays, or bits of plays, are staged every year normally – thousands, I suspect. It’s not only a testament to Shakespeare’s genius but to our love of watching people act out in front of us. All you need is a stage and a few good lines!

I grabbed a seat up close and settled in for the show. The actors live in New York City, trained in London, are young and full of fire. They took us on an energetic tour of human emotions, including lots of laughs. Our two children have performed in six Shakespeare plays in the last year or so, part of a troupe of twelve to seventeen year-olds. They do the plays uncut – every last word – and the kids are not intimidated in the least. Shakespeare speaks to teenagers.

How cool is that!