It’s the last day of March, and I’ve personally had an amazing time with my “Reading the Theatre” project. I read books and plays, I watched filmed versions of plays, and I enjoyed thinking about and discussing all of these.
- I started out with The story so far: my earlier posts on the theme.
- I shared a favorite quotation from Martha Graham that has been an inspiration to more than one creative artist.
- As a discussion question, I asked, “Do you read plays?”
- A curious piece of theatre was a guest post on the masque Comus, contributed by the ever-erudite Chris of Calmgrove.
- With Performing magic I linked up with March Magics at We Be Reading to explore one of the many magical books of Diana Wynne Jones, The Magicians of Caprona.
- In Two titans of the theatre I compared two books I read back-to-back about very different actors: Rex Harrison and Antony Sher.
- Tales in transformation was a reflection on reading Shaw’s Pygmalion and how it has metamorphosed through different stage and film incarnations, including the musical My Fair Lady.
- This led me to a final question, Can language transform your life?
Besides The Incomparable Rex and Antony Sher’s Year of the Mad King, other books I read this month with at least a passing relationship to the topic were:
- Missed Translations by Sopan Deb – Deb is a journalist and aspiring stand-up comic who writes movingly about his search for the immigrant parents who raised him, but whom he never really knew.
- Actress by Anne Enright – A melancholy, poetic narrative that circles around a novelist’s search for the truth about her famous actress mother and the father she never knew (a theme emerging here).
- Death in the Grand Manor by Anne Morice – Something completely different, a sprightly mystery amusingly narrated by a young English actress who gets caught up in some real-life drama.
- The Weather at Tregulla by Stella Gibbons – Another young actress has her plans for going to London thwarted and likewise gets tangled up, this time in romantic complications in Cornwall.
- I’m not quite finished with The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro, but I’ve already learned so much about the history and social context behind three great plays that were produced that year: King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra.
Special thanks to Dean Street Press for review copies of The Incomparable Rex, Death in the Grand Manor, and The Weather at Tregulla. If you don’t know this marvelous reprint press, I hope you will check out their many fine offerings. Clearly they share my enjoyment of theatrical topics and themes, with more to come in the future I hope.
Thanks also to all who joined in with me with posts on your own blogs. The posts I linked to were:
- At Staircase Wit: A Snowfall of Silver, Death in the Grand Manor, the Gemma books, Black Banner Players, and The Swish of the Curtain
- At She Reads Novels: a list of books with theatrical characters and a discussion post about historical drama.
- At Necromancy Never Pays, Missing the theater provided some reflections on great theater experiences of the past.
- And at Bitter Tea and Mystery, a review of Stage Fright, a delicious sounding academic mystery set in a drama group at Cambridge University.
If you have any further posts to let me know about, please be sure to do so in the comments. (WordPress does not like links in comments sometimes, but just give me a heads-up and I’ll find the post on your blog or wherever it may live.)
Whew, what a month! I feel reinvigorated to leap back into the drama of life. With a renewed appreciation for all we can experience through page and film, I still hope that theatre doors will be opening and curtains going up very soon.
8 thoughts on “Reading the Theatre Wrap-up Post”
Thank you for inaugurating this meme, Lory, and for your enlightening posts and links to posts by fellow travellers, they’ve given me much to think about at a time when live venues have been closed. The James Shapiro sounds really interesting, I read a Shakespeare study by him a few years ago that managed to be both scholarly and easy to read — no mean feat!
I’d say the same. It made sense of so many things and also gave a small window onto the detective work of historians, in an accessible way. Quite impressive.
Thanks for coming up with this idea at this time and orchestrating so many of us to think about it!
Thanks Jeanne! Honestly, there was basically no orchestrating involved. It all came together so beautifully in a spontaneous way. Total improv, but it worked this time.
What a lovely time you’ve had with this – I’m so glad!
Yes, I had a blast and I’d do it again. Not sure about anybody else.
Congratulations, Lory! This was a great success. I took an unexpected blogging break, but I did follow along some. So nice to see how many people took part and that love for theatre prevails even in these difficult times.
Thanks Laurie, of course you can always catch up on earlier posts when you have time. 🙂 I did enjoy it tremendously and was glad it struck a chord with so many.