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.

20190702-SquirrelButtRomeo.jpg

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:

Time-Elapsed Video: Romeo & Juliet One Page Summary

It’s JUST BARELY still March and I’m JUST BARELY still “off”! For one last time, let’s dip into the videos I’ve created for my $10 Patreon supporters. This time it’s a process video of me drawing my one-page summary of Romeo and Juliet.

I use Clip Studio Paint for all my work at the moment.

That does it for “Mya is not technically working but also is very much technically working” March! See you next week with all new Shakespeare comics!

Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 3)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features YET MORE photo comics cobbled together from the Stratford Festival's official production photos, starting with Guys & Dolls:

guys_a.jpg
IMG_20170908_215807_540.jpg

Then The Komagata Maru Incident, based on a rather dark chapter in Canada's history:

maru.jpg

The ludicrously complicated and madcap The School For Scandal

scandal_a.jpg
scandal_b.jpg
madwoman_a.jpg
madwoman_b.jpg

And finally, a new play by Kate Hennig, The Virgin Trial

virgin_a.jpg
virgin_b.jpg

I missed Bakkhai. I'm very sorry about that.

Upcoming Events

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 2)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features MORE photo comics cobbled together from the Stratford Festival's official production photos, starting with HMS Pinafore:

pinafore_a.jpg
pinafore_b.jpg

Next up, Twelfth Night:

 

twelfth_a.jpg
twelfth_b.jpg

Then it was time for Treasure Island:

treasure_a.jpg
treasure_b.jpg

Next up was an ultra-modern Tartuffe with an ultra-modern script by Ranjit Bolt. 

tartuffe_a.jpg
tartuffe_b.jpg

Anyways, that's all for now! Tune in Thursday for another "Stay Sane September" installment!

Upcoming Events

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 1)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features some comics I put together during my trip to the Stratford Festival two weeks ago. I deliberately didn't take my computer so that I wouldn't be able to work. However, once I got there I found myself wanting to document my theatre-going, so I downloaded all the official production photos, ran them through a basic comic app, and here they are.

First up was Timon of Athens, which I previously saw 13 years ago, when I was far too immature to appreciate this famously hard-to-appreciate play. Here's how it unfolded:

IMG_1503756670649.jpg
timon_of_athens.jpg

While I'm still not particularly fond of the play itself, I thought this was a great production - very clear and comprehensible, with excellent acting, especially by Joe Ziegler, who managed to somehow make me not lose all interest in Timon once he slid to the "UNRELENTINGLY BITTER" end of the spectrum. 

I then saw Thomas Middleton's The Changeling. This was my first Middleton (not counting his possible collaborations with Shakespeare) and it was a doozy:

channeling_a.jpg
changeling_b.jpg

This was an intense play. I'm struck by how very different Middleton feels to Shakespeare as far as the language and characterizations are concerned. It all feels much more melodramatic, with the result that I empathize less with the characters involved, but enjoy all the horrible, over-the-top atrocities that occur. 

Next up was Romeo and JulietWe all know how this one goes, right?

rj_a.jpg
rj_b.jpg

Confession: I'm really really really sick of Romeo and Juliet. It's just done ALL the TIME, and it's always pretty much the same, and you can't seem to get away from it. However, this production managed to rekindle my interest in the play, thanks primarily to the ludicrously engaging performances of the two leads, Sara Farb and Antoine Yared. 

Finally, I saw The Breathing Hole, a new play commissioned by the Stratford Festival. It goes like this:

breathing_hole_a.jpg
breathing_hole_b.jpg

I really loved this production, and not just because the bears are ADORABLE and PERFECT and LOVELY. Apart from the bears (who were adorable and perfect and lovely), my favorite scene was one in which two Inuit hunters meet and try to communicate with British explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew. It was perfectly written and acted. 

Anyways, that's all for now! Tune in Thursday for another "Stay Sane September" installment!

Upcoming Events

TOMORROW: September 6: Stratford Festival Forum - Willy Shakes: Fanboy

WHO: Me! And also Conor McCreery of the Kill Shakespeare comic book series.
WHAT: Panel discussion on Shakespeare in pop culture and graphic novels. Part of the Stratford Festival Forum series of events. 
WHEN: Wednesday, September 6, 10:45am
WHERE: Chalmers Lounge, Avon Theatre, Stratford, Ontario.
WHY: Because they asked me! 
HOW: Buy tickets at the Stratford Festival website

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Romeo and Juliet: Death & Marriage Totals

So you think "that's all one, the play is done", do you? NOT SO FAST! We still have some important work to do! First, let's take a look at how many people died and how many people got married, so we can scientifically determine if this is a tragedy or a comedy. 

Let me crunch the numbers here... mmmhmm... yeah, this is a tragedy.

Spare a thought for poor Lady Montague, who dies offstage, is mentioned in a throwaway line that nobody pays much attention to, and is hardly ever remembered as having lived, let alone died. 

If you've been too busy or impatient to follow my exhaustive Romeo and Juliet retelling over the past several months, tune in next week for a handy-dandy one-page summary of the entire play! And then we'll be done.