Squirrel Butt Romeo

I love Shakespeare performance anecdotes, so I was delighted when a recent Twitter conversation about outdoor Shakespeare productions started to generate a “best of” list of natural calamities.

Here is my current favorite, as supplied by my friend Kate Powers, director, educator, founder of the Redeeming Time Project, and all-around excellent Shakespeare geek.


More anecdotes coming. If you think you have an anecdote that can compete with Squirrel Butt Romeo, leave me a comment or add to this Twitter thread:

Shakespeare Yoga, part 1

So, back in April the Shakespeare Association of America conference offered morning “Shakespeare Yoga” sessions. This basically meant regular yoga with a Shakespeare-inspired soundtrack, but I thought it would be fun to codify some classic Shakespearean yoga poses.


Consulting pocket dramaturg: Kate Pitt, as usual.

If you can think of a Shakespeare equivalent for ‘chaturanga dandasana’, leave me a comment below. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about it.


You know the classic Shakespearean trope where one character (usually a girl disguising herself as a boy) changes her hairstyle or puts on a hat and is suddenly TOTALLY UNRECOGNIZABLE to even her closest friends and family?


Apparently we shouldn’t dismiss it that quickly, based on the real life experiences of my Shakespearean BFF, Kate Pitt.

Pirate Ex Machina

Have you ever written yourself into a corner and found yourself trapped in a plot complication that seems impossible to untangle? Consider doing what Shakespeare often did in such situations: introduce convenient pirates!

Thanks to my pocket dramaturg, Kate Pitt, for once again consulting with me on this, and for compiling a list of Shakespearean Pirate Names:

The Ohio Light Opera 2019 Season, part 2

We’re back with the remaining four productions on the Ohio Light Opera 2019 playbill, starting with a classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, possibly the first theatrical piece I memorized as a small child. Because… pirates.


Everyone knows Rodgers and Hammerstein, but Hammerstein did a lot of work with Kern before he really figured out how to effectively integrate these things called “plots” into a musical (Show Boat notwithstanding). Here’s one of their earlier efforts:


A season at OLO wouldn’t be complete without some csardas-fueled Emmerich Kalman (a personal favorite of mine).


And finally, for those fans of hopelessly melodramtic, multi-generational tales of foiled romance, we have this incredibly florid offering from Ivor Novello (aka Jeremy Northam in Gosford Park).


I’m looking forward to seeing all of these next month!

The Ohio Light Opera 2019 Season, part 1

Short break from Shakespeare this week! The Ohio Light Opera, my favorite obscure operetta and early musical theatre festival, is about to open their season this weekend! To celebrate, I’m taking a look at their playbill, starting with some (relatively) heavy hitters.

First up, a Rodgers & Hammerstein classic.


Fun fact: I, a mixed race child of Asian and Caucasian parents, was well into my twenties before I realized Nellie’s problem with Emile was miscegenation. Apparently, I am totally clueless.

Next, some fluffy Gershwin!

I love me some Gershwin, so I am looking forward to this. I’ve seen Crazy For You, the updated, “new and improved” version of Girl Crazy, but I’ve never seen the original.

And now, the opposite of fluffy Gershwin: serious Sondheim.


Tune in Thursday for the rest of the OLO 2019 season, featuring a Gilbert & Sullivan classic and a bunch of REALLY OBSCURE stuff.

Shakespeare GIFs, part 1

Animated GIFs have, for better or worse, become an integral part of how we communicate on social media. While they perhaps don’t elevate a conversation to the same degree that a well-constructed pithy rejoinder would, they are pretty darn entertaining. The only problem? There are never enough Shakespeare GIFs out there! Here are some ones I’ve made that might prove useful in online discourse.

Much Ado About Nothing, 1993

Much Ado About Nothing, 1993

Much Ado About Nothing, 1993

Much Ado About Nothing, 1993

Henry V, 1944

Henry V, 1944

Hamlet, 1996

Hamlet, 1996

Twelfth Night, 2012

Twelfth Night, 2012

As You Like It, 2006

As You Like It, 2006

Coriolanus, 2014

Coriolanus, 2014

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1968

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1968

If there any particular filmed Shakespeare moment you think would be a good GIF, drop me a comment below and I’ll get to work on it.