William Shakespeare RIP: poet, playwright, actor-Died April 23, 1616

William Shakespeare RIP: poet, playwright & actor
A great writer and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist
England’s national poet aka the “Bard of Avon”
Died April 23, 1616

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
~William Shakespeare ‘Twelfth Night’

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The playwright was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Warwickshire market town, and returned there when he retired.

  • Born in 1564, and the earliest record of his writing dates from 1592
  • Wrote around 38 full plays (including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth), 154 sonnets and other works.
  • Words including “assassination”, “addiction”, “generous” and “bedroom” had their first recorded uses in his plays
  • Introduced phrases like “elbow room”, “heart of gold” and “tower of strength” to the English language
  • Acted as well as wrote, and owned a share in the original Globe theatre
  • Died on 23 April 1616, aged 52

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Greg Bell as Shakespeare at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura 1985

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The Reduced Shakespeare Company (original members) performed “Hamlet” and “Romeo & Juliet” on the Caravanserie Stage at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, California 1984-87

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Jess, Adam & Daniel – The Reduced Shakespeare Company Original Members

When we were in college in Santa Cruz we worked for the University of California, Santa Cruz, Performing Arts Department and the Living History Centre (the producers of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire & Dickens’ Christmas Fair) in Black Point, Novato, California.

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Shakespeare Santa Cruz 1984

“And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy.”
~ A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 4, Sc 2

In 1989, we traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England as a consultant to Homer “Murph” Swander’s “Theatre in England” (associated with UC Santa Barbara).

We saw 13 plays in 3 weeks at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theaters in Stratford, and at The Pit, the National and Barbican in London. We saw Mark Rylance perform the title role of “Hamlet” in pajamas in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the role of Romeo in “Romeo & Juliet” in The Swan Theatre. We also saw “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, “Cymbeline”, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and many other non-Shakespearean classical performances. We even saw Dustin Hoffman perform Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” in London (his first time doing Shakespeare on stage).

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Mark Rylance as the title character in the RSC’s “Hamlet” 1989

NOTE: While in Stratford-upon-Avon, we had the pleasure to meet and drink with many of the RSC actors after the performances at the Falcon Hotel Bar across the street from the theatre. In addition, some of the RSC actors spoke, performed and answered questions at scheduled daytime meetings of our travel group. We also toured Broughton Castle.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival – Allen Elizabethan Theatre’s Stage

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

Past OSF Performances we’ve attended (only a partial list of course):

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37 Plays! How many have you read? How many have you seen?

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Shakespeare Doodles (thanks http://www.goodticklebrain.com)

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Some Shakespeare Infographics:

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Some Shakespeare Insults:

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Some Shakespeare Humor:

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Shakespeare is buried in the cemetery at the Church of the Trinity in Stratford.

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Church of the Trinity – Stratford-upon-Avon, England

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

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UPDATED Saturday, February 11, 2017

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