Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shakespeare in the Spring.....and Summer....and Fall....

My family are big fans of Shakespeare.....and of live theater. We love to be in plays and to go to them.

When our little charter school offered the chance for my high school student to attend two plays at the World Famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, we were all over it. She applied and was accepted.

Later, I found out from the teacher-in-charge that one of Malachy's age-mates (11 years) was getting to go, too. Thanks to some discussion, I was able to convince her that Malachy was mature enough to attend the plays. For goodness sake, this boy was raised in the theater. He spent from age 2 through age 8 attending rehearsals and plays. He has it. She said if there were any student spots left, she would save the first one for him When it came available, I asked him if he would like to attend the plays with Maddelyn. His response: Of course I do!!

Maddelyn had filled out the application officially, explaining in short paragraphs what her experience with theater was and about her family's Shakespeare experiences. Since Malachy had missed that deadline, he was only required to write a short paragraph about why he wanted to take part in the program.

I am looking forward to going to the Shakespeare plays for many reasons. Because Shakespeare is one of my favorite authors, I would love to watch his scripts come to life on the stage. It would be very exciting to go to one of the world’s greatest Shakespeare festivals. Ever since I was little, my family has been involved in theater. It is lots of fun to see how actors put on a play. Getting to go backstage would be a sensational experience.

Malachy Bryan

Yeah, he really wrote that. So cute that my eleven year old thinks Shakespeare is one of his fave authors. And for IEW fans.......take notice of his sentence openers. ;)

This program is called the Bowmer Project. It is going to be such a blessing to our family! Here is the project plan:

Every year, the Bowmer Project provides tickets to twelve high school and middle school classes (15 – 35 students per class). Prior to their visit, the class teachers attend special workshops that offer strategies for teaching the plays their students will attend. During the program the students make two visits to the Festival to see two plays, attend a Backstage Tour, and participate in a post-show discussion led by an OSF company member. All students who complete the program receive a pass to attend selected plays with a guest during the season. To be considered for the Bowmer Project, your school must be located in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath or Siskiyou County.

On March 14, the kids attended My Fair Lady. They have no tickets for parents to use and when I called to buy a seat, they were all sold out. For this play and the next. I was so bummed.

The kids enjoyed it very much. Said it was wonderful. They love the movie version.....I am so glad that this did not disappoint. The post-show discussion with one of the actors was nice, too. I was able to attend that portion.

The second play is this version of The Taming of the Shrew..........maybe my favorite Shakespeare play. It looks promising. The teacher-in-charge says it was excellent. From the website: ......against a backdrop of beach boardwalks and rock ’n’ roll. Should be interesting. They use Shakespeare's words.....but change the setting, the backdrop. We saw a western version of Much Ado About Nothing while in St. Louis on our cross-country trip in 2007. It was wonderful and hilarious.

The good news: .........well, first the bad news: two of the kids who were in the program need to drop out for this play. NOW, the good news: the tickets from those kids are going to get me in, and my friend as well, who has two kids attending the program. Yes! SCORE!

This ticket provides entrance to the play as well as the backstage tour:

Discover what's behind the shows on a walking tour with a company member. Begin with a brief talk about the history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the intricacies of operating a theatre in repertory. Tour stops include theatre spaces as well as backstage, Green Room and other behind-the-scenes areas.

The OSF campus is a lovely place to visit. The theatres are lovely, the gift shop is fun and the overall atmosphere is so.......cultural. ( Whatever that means....... ;) )
So, attending these two plays and the backstage tour seem like a blessing enough, right????
WELL....................there is one more perk. An amazing perk.
So, each of the kids involved in the program are required to send a "thank you note" to one of the sponsors of the program. Once that is done, the student will receive a "PASS PLUS" pass.......which will allow the student and any guest to go see any play this 2013 season for long as it is not sold out. WOW. Really??? Yep. Wow, what a blessing for this theatre-loving, Shakespeare-loving family.
Let's do the math: I have two kids who have the, four of us can attend any any given time. I have several friends, with a total of five kids in the program.........three of which are kids who have no transportation up, for every one of those five that we take, my family gets a bonus ticket. Not a bad deal. :)
The season runs April through October.........we can reserve seats for any show not sold out.......which means that sometimes, we will be "stuck" with the better seats.
Here is the 2013 Season:
Shakespeare Plays:
  • King Lear
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Cymbaline
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • My Fair Lady

Some of the straight plays might be too old for most of the kids........we shall see. see this high quality of Shakespeare, for Freeeeeeee? Huge blessings.
Shakespearean Blessings to you and ours......and mine! ;)

PS: A funny aside: The teacher-in-charge, when she called to let me know that she had a ticket for me, told me that she hoped I would be okay with my kids seeing The Taming of The Shrew.......because it does get "a little wild". I asked what her definition of "wild" was.......she explained that "there are some serious insults flying at times." Mildly confused, I queried: Well, they just use Shakespeare's script, right? They only change the setting, but use his words, as written? She assures me that is the case. Phew. I told her we were fine.....that my kids had seen every movie version of The Shrew as well as one other play and a couple of reads through the play. She was relieved. So was I ......... my definition of "wild" is much more exotic than hers.......I asked: nobody gets nekked, right? NO. Then we are just dandy.


  1. LOL about the last part. Your family is indeed blessed, and I really liked Malachy's letter : )

    1. I know, funny! I like his letter, too!

  2. Very happy for y'all! Sounds like fun!

    1. Thanks, Aunt Beth! We are all very excited!

    2. I Feel That Learning About Shakespeare And The Plays And You Learn The Catholic Presence Of Shakespeare That Is Great Chari Goldman Bryan I Love You


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