Because Internet: the new linguistics of informal English

I’m planning to begin my online Shakespeare class with commentary on how it’s a good thing that language changes, so that students will (I hope) see the effort they will need to put into understanding English from 400 years ago as part of the process of engaging with a living language, the same process that inspires each generation to change the language to suit their needs. Large-scale analysis of internet…

Back in the MLA

As the humanities decline in the United States, the country is losing the craft of understanding, losing its capacity for citizenship. Even educated people are increasingly unable and unwilling to distinguish between fake and real information, becoming a community that cannot understand itself as anything more than a circulation of figures. Self-righteousness takes the place of substantive discussion. Narcissism and outrage become the dominant techniques of self-definition. And the cure…

Two More Chances to See Prime Stage’s Twelfth Night

The show runs tonight at 8 and Sunday at 2:30. One could argue that this production’s perpetually upbeat, fast-paced tone robs the play of its melancholic undertones; many of the more contemplative moments are brushed past or played for comedy, and Feste’s sorrowful songs, set by Monica Stephenson and Gil Teixeira to music for solo guitar and voice, are more poolside cool than sentimental. But with the show clocking in…

BWW Review: TWELFTH NIGHT Is Farcical Fun at Prime Stage

In his review, Greg Kerestan, who must have have gotten a pretty good education somewhere, manages to work in references to the Wind in the Willows, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Caddyshack. The cast is uniformly excellent, but the greatest burdens fall upon the leading players of the two sections of the show. Bouncing back and forth between the character of supposed-eunuch Cesario and lovesick maiden Viola, Carolyn Jerz is believably…

Laughter and Light Abound in Prime Stage’s “Twelfth Night”

Kudos to Prime Stage for a Twelfth Night that truly sings. Stage director Andy Kirtland has created a lovely adaptation of Shakespeare’s 1601 comedy. A vibrant intimacy connects the players and audience, supporting a wonderful production that’s superbly enjoyable for both those who know this play and for anyone experiencing Shakespeare for the first time. Kirtland transports an ensemble of some of Shakespeare’s most lovable characters to sunny Portugal in the 1920s, a decade…