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By Richard E. ”Nick” Noble, SM & SS ‘76
“Is All Our Company Here?” –Shakespeare at St. Mark’s
QUINCE: Is all our company here?
BOTTOM: You were best to call them generally, man by man,
according to the scrip.
QUINCE: Here is the scroll of every man’s name, which is
thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our
interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his
wedding-day at night.
BOTTOM: First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow
to a point.
In the fall of 1972, veteran St. Mark’s English teacher Jay Engel directed a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was the third of what would eventually be five productions of the popular Shakespearean comedy at the School. It is vivid in my memory, because I played the central role of “Nick Bottom, the Weaver,” wearing denim overalls for a costume. It was also my first introduction to performing Shakespeare. Like so many St. Markers, my first in-depth interaction with the Bard of Avon happened right here on the SM campus. (more…)
By Shep Greene, VI Form
Voice in Guitar and in Literature…and in Me
The guitar is an integral part of who I am. As my skill has progressed, I’ve seen my appreciation and understanding of music progress as well. Over this past year, I began to delve into a more abstract form of music in improvisation. Within this form of my guitar playing, I began to find striking similarities between music and literature. Imagine every note as a letter and every note coming together to form a riff, with all of the respective letters coming together as one word. By the end of a piece, just as by the end of a novel, you’ll have a powerful message to send out to your listeners and readers. (more…)
By Daisy Williams, Steven Landry, Teagan Ladner, Grace Gorman, Sam Lauten, Riley Lochhead, Jess Adams, Tracy LeBlanc, Maeve McCuine, Caroline Bailey, and Kahler Mabbs, VI Form
Shakespeare’s The Tempest: Missing Piece Storyboards
Between Season Three and Season Four of LOST, the writers (for ABC and in conjunction with Verizon) produced 13 short (< 4 minutes) “mobisodes” or “webisodes” that divulged scenes that didn’t appear in the first three seasons, but yet were considered part of the canonical narrative. These were called “Missing Pieces.” In Getting LOST, students were assigned to create a four-panel storyboard of a “Missing Piece” from Shakespeare’s The Tempest that they could imagine and create to be part of any aspect of the story from any point in history (from 5000 years ago to the unseen elements of Shakespeare’s plot to the present day ramifications of the characters’ actions). The storyboard–a graphic illustration that previews what would be staged or filmed by actors–could be crafted in any format or program.
Below are the varied storyboards created. Keep scrolling! (more…)
By Sam Sarafin, V Form
Reviving Ophelia’s Song
What happens to a life so battered and bruised under the gift wrap of perfection? What happens to a life
whose opportunities have been seized by another, whose ideals and self-importance are plucked out of fingertips before they even left a print? In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Ophelia is often depicted as well-composed and sophisticated. When Ophelia sings a song before her death, she can attribute the meaning of the lyrics to one feeling or event – most often, this meaning is madness or grief. While Ophelia sang this song to convey her distress, there are many hidden meanings in the lyrics. Ophelia’s song is not an expression of one event or one feeling – it is the verbalization of grief over Polonius and Hamlet and a scrutiny of Gertrude’s portrayal of love. In it, Ophelia laments about patriarchal society and the way she had been controlled and used. (more…)
Anatomy of a Course: Getting LOST
By John Camp, English Department Head
In September of 2004, commercials ran for a new fall show on ABC called LOST. As a self-ascribed t.v. critic (and an acerbically judgmental one at that), I remember distinctly and succinctly saying to my wife Tara, “That looks stupid.” Interestingly, when Lloyd Braun, then the head of ABC, pitched the idea at a network retreat, virtually all ABC execs had the same reaction that I had. Senior vice president Thom Sherman, however, was intrigued and pursued the idea with Braun and the writer Jeffrey Lieber. Through a few stages of scripting, Braun’s original idea became LOST–driven by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, and eventually Lindelof and Carleton Cuse. In the summer of 2006, friends of mine implored me to watch the show, saying that they knew I, specifically, would love it. So, I borrowed the Season 1 box set, and Tara and I sat down to watch at least the pilot episode. From the initial moment of protagonist Jack’s eye opening and its inherent symbolism (Eye of Horus, the Mind’s I, gateway to the soul), the mythology intrigued me and binge watching, of course, ensued. From those origins, LOST became a literal religion for me as well as the inspiration for what I consider to be the magnus opus of my teaching career, my course “Getting LOST.” (more…)
By Jeniene Matthews, English Faculty
What happens when you bring together 25 passionate, talented, and eager teachers of English and Drama? What happens when that diverse group of people works nonstop in and around The Globe Theatre — one of the most significant performance spaces on the planet? You get magic.
The magic comes from the building itself. Conceived, built, rebuilt, and rebuilt again, the Globe Theatre was the vessel that brought Shakespeare’s genius to the people. Learning its history — and living it and becoming a small part of it — has a way of changing us.