Carolyn performed as Ariel yesterday in the New Renaissance Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Carolyn performed as Ariel yesterday in the New Renaissance Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.   The performers use an “unrehearsed” technique, where they are reading from scrolls that contain their lines and the cues they have to listen for. She’s put together scrolls for several different tracks (each track typically consisting of a main role and, when that main character is off stage, several random servant / supporting characters).   She doesn’t find out until the day of a show which track she’s doing that day.   Each run will probably feature a different configuration of cast members,…

What Jonson meant by Shakespeare’s “small Latin and less Greek”

Jonson famously eulogized Shakespeare thus:     For if I thought my judgment were of years I should commit thee surely with thy peers, And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine, Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe’s mighty line. And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek, From thence to honor thee I would not seek For names, but call forth thund’ring Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us…   The apparent dig “though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek” is, according to Tom Moran, a hypothetical, akin to the King James translation of 1 Corinthians 13:1: “Though…

The Siege (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 3) Sisko defends DS9 while Kira tries to defuse a coup on Bajor

Rewatching ST:DS9 Picking up where s2e2 “The Circle” left off, as a coup threatens to topple the Bajoran provisional government, Sisko invites his staff to remain on the station despite the Federation’s evacuation orders.  Jake is distressed to learn that he and Nog are booked on different ships, heading in different directions. Nog insists their friendship will endure. Keiko is angry that O’Brien is not leaving with his family, but staying with Sisko. (“He needs me.” “We don’t?”) Kira wants to confront the Chamber of Ministers with evidence that the Cardassians are backing the coup, but Sisko can’t give her…

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The Circle (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 2) Kira relocates to Bariel’s monastery as a coup brews on Bajor

Rewatching ST:DS9 Picking up where s2e1 “The Homecoming” left off, Jaro describes Kira’s reassignment as a promotion, and suggests Li will be safer on DS9. Sisko is wary on both counts. Jake finds the sign of The Circle (xenophobic Bajoran extremists) on the door to the Sisko quarters. In a tense scene that gradually turns comic, Odo confronts Kira as she is packing. In short order, Dax, Bashir, O’Brien and then Quark pile into her cabin, each with their own agenda. Bashir doesn’t understand Odo’s snark, O’Brien is totally overwhelmed, Quark thinks he’s joining a party, and when Vedek Bareil…

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The Homecoming (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 1) War hero rescued by Kira has feet of clay

Rewatching ST:DS9 Quark receives a Bajoran earring that gets Kira pumped (for reasons we don’t know just yet). Jake has successfully asked a Bajoran girl out on a date. “I can see you’re not ready to have this conversation yet,” Jake tells his nervous dad. Kira asks Sisko to borrow a runabout, and only reluctantly tells him why. The earring belongs to the legendary resistance leader Li Nalas (that we’ve never heard of before), and she wants to rescue him from a Cardassian prison. In a remote area of the station, O’Brien finds graffiti that Sisko identifies as referencing The…

Clever Modernization of Hamlet: Polonius with an iPhone

I teach Shakespeare in a literature class. I encourage students to call up a college production on YouTube, or listen to a BBC radio adaptation, and read along with their script. However, I remind students that because I’m an English teacher, I’m asking them to focus on the script, not on any individual director’s production of the script. Students whose responses refer to line delivery, facial expressions, or camera angles may certainly be engaging with the choices that the actor made during that performance, but my task in the literature classroom involves asking them to pay attention to the words…

In the Hands of the Prophets (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 19) Keiko’s science lesson sparks a religious protest

Rewatching ST:DS9 A candidate for Bajor’s new spiritual leader objects to Keiko’s scientific interpretation of the wormhole.  Vedek Winn speaks softly, with a smug serenity that makes her a villain you love to hate, when she sweetly shares her views. With an edge to her voice, Keiko holds her ground: “I don’t teach Bajoran spiritual beliefs. That’s *your* job.” Sisko scolds his son for dismissing the Bajoran faith as “dumb,” pointing out that the aliens who constructed the wormhole exist out of time, so in a sense, they are prophets. “It may not be what you believe, but that doesn’t…

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Duet (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 18) Kira is convinced an ailing Cardassian is a notorious war criminal

Rewatching ST:DS9 Kira is convinced she’s captured a Cardassian war criminal, but Sisko insists on giving him due legal process.  Marritza is not on any list of wanted criminals, but he is being treated for a disease that can only have been caused by a mining accident in a notorious labor camp. He is arrogant, yet insists he is not a murderer. Kira, the Bajoran government, and even a rando In the drunk tank are all eager for the chance to punish a brutal Cardassian war criminal. From his cell, Marritza praises his brutal commander and the racist policies of…

The Forsaken (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 17) Lwaxana Troi and the station computer harass Odo and O’Brien, respectively

Rewatching ST:DS9 Bashir is hosting three high-maintenance ambassadors, while Odo’s professional competence attracts the attention of Lwaxana Troi.  O’Brien brings Sisko his concerns about the station computer (his “arch enemy”), Odo brings Sisko his concerns about Lwaxana, and Bashir brings his concerns about the needy ambassadors. The commander seems to enjoy telling each of them to just work it out. A probe comes through the wormhole. It’s got a lot of computer power but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Of course it makes sense to download whatever’s in the alien probe’s memory to the station’s main computer. No point…

Masked, vaxxed, and settling in to watch live theater

Barebones is a little black box theater, but it fits a fantastic set and some effective practical effects. (It’s based on a Stephen King novel, so bear that in mind.) The battle of wits between complex characters who don’t make the kind of dumb mistakes that people make in horror movies was just thrilling. Great acting and direction. And the soundtrack of 80s hits and story-appropriate oldies was just perfect. The lightning punctuating the events was perfectly timed, the costumes, the props, everything intimate and credible, down to the animal doorstop and the crucifix on the wall.

If Wishes Were Horses (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 16) Hallucinations become real as a Plot Contrivance Field threatens the station.

Rewatching ST:DS9 Quark tries to interest Odo in a holosuite fantasy, but Odo prefers realism. Jake passes through the casino, on his way to play his father’s baseball program. Dax is amused but unmoved by Bashir’s romantic overtures, and kindly suggests a “high-pitched sonic shower.” She’s on her way to Ops to look at a plot contrivance particle field Kira and Sisko are puzzling over. O’Brien, who a few episodes ago was stiff and awkward when drafted into his role as “storyteller” to a Bajoran village, sounds like a professional actor as he reads “Rumpelstiltskin” to his little daughter at…

Progress (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 15) Kira befriends a stubborn squatter

Rewatching ST:DS9 Dax and Kira are chatting in a runabout (Dax says Morn is “kind of cute”) when they discover humanoid life on a moon that’s scheduled to be technobabbled into uninhabitability in the name of progress. On the moon, Kira meets Mullibok (the great character actor Brien Keith), who escaped to this moon decades ago, during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. With folksy stories and a cantankerous attitude (he calls her “girl” and “child), Mullibok gets under Kira’s skin, but she also admires his tenacity — empathizing so much that a Bajoran minister suggests tasking the evacuation to another…

Emissary (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2) Cmdr. Sisko establishes a Federation presence on a former Cardassian station orbiting recently liberated Bajor

Rewatching ST:DS9 The episode begins with a slide of text about Picard being assimilated by the Borg and forced to lead a devastating assault on Federation forces at Wolf 359. During that battle, Benjamin Sisko, first officer on the USS Saratoga, gives the order to abandon ship. He rescues his young son Jake, but is too late to save his wife. A few years later, Sisko brings Jake along to his new posting. Commence station log, Deep Space Nine, Commander Benjamin Sisko, Stardate 46388.2. At the request of the Bajoran provisional government, Starfleet has agreed to establish a Federation presence…