“And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it.”
-Duke Ferdinand, As You Like It, Act 2.1
|first ever successful lupine in the Kelly garden|
So here is what I wrote last week.
I am getting ready to leave for the CMI conference at Gardner-Webb University. I can't wait to see everyone. I also can't wait to talk about Shakespeare with attendees and Jerram Barrs. Here is the abstract:I have admired Jerram and his writings for many years now. I first heard him speak at a L'abri conference long ago. He is an expert on Shakespeare, so I was humbled and excited to be able to present with him.
Shakespeare – The How and Why with Nancy Kelly and Jerram BarrsIn this workshop, Nancy Kelly will examine why Charlotte Mason’s PNEU students were immersed in Shakespeare. The results may surprise you! She will be sharing her 20 years’ experience with teaching children, high schoolers, and adults – often all at the same time. Personal anecdotes, recommended resources, and audience participation will be part of this session. Jerram Barrs will participate during the discussion time and participants will hear him read some of the Bard’s poetry with his lovely British accent.
And now I am back from the CMI conference. My session with Jerram was pretty amazing. At least is was for me! He is so very gracious, erudite, and kind. I talked for the first hour about my findings on Mason and my experiences. We took a short break and then Jerram shared his knowledge of Shakespeare, including stories from his teaching Shakespeare at Covenant. It was rich and I am looking forward to hearing it again when the audio is made available.
We recently finished As You Like It. I recommend the BBC production. I love this play, especially the character Rosalind. We watched clips from the 1936 production with Laurence Olivier. We did character and setting drawing narrations and talked about pastorals. We examined the Seven Stages of Man speech because we liked it so much. Which is why what happened next was so disappointing.
I've been teaching and enjoying Shakespeare for about 20 years now. This past February I had my first truly awful experience at a performance of As You Like It at a nearby university. My advice when attending a performance is to find out ahead of time from someone involved with the play directly (director, actors, et al) if it is appropriate for young students. This has worked very well for me and we have enjoyed performances at SMSU, the Guthrie, and other venues. This checking on the performance ahead of time has also helped me decide to NOT attend certain performances. For this particular performance, however, I only spoke to some students at the box office who had no intimate connection with the play.
Yes, I left with my children. Yes, it was an over-the-top exaggeration of everything that could even remotely be considered sexual innuendo. I was sick to my stomach, really. The rest of our group was coming the next day, so we avoided another fiasco and everyone was refunded their ticket purchase.
We contacted the head of the theater department, too. He claims he had no idea (!) but as it turns out, yes, it was a "bawdy version" of the play. That would have been nice to know. Sigh. The few experts that I have since talked to have said that no, it's not a legit thing. Jerram starts off his chapter on Shakespeare in Echoes of Eden with a similar story, but his talk at the conference reminded us why we should continue to read Shakespeare and not to (insert fitting cliche here.)
|new book on Shakespeare - looking forward to reading it!|