Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Annual Shakespeare Trip

Spending Time with the Bard in Ashland, Oregon
by Dean Marshall

On the last weekend in September, the Shakespeare class, several college literature majors, and a few stowaways (myself included) ventured down to Ashland, Oregon, for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip.

Officially, we were able to see two plays, Shakespeare's Henry V on Friday night, and then Animal Crackers of Marx Brothers fame.  Both performances were wonderful!  Seeing Shakespeare's plays as they should be, on stage and in person, is a real treat.  While Animal Crackers was obviously not written by the Bard, it was a rousing performance nonetheless, one that will not be soon forgotten!

On the stage of the Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland

Some of us were also able to see other plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, and the entire group received a special privilege this year: a backstage tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  The tour was a wonderful experience that really opened our eyes to the realities of stage performing, especially all of the hard work from the actors and technical crew; it was fascinating!

Some may ask, "Why Shakespeare, why literature, at a seminary?"  The answer is simple: these are the things that make us human, that are part of our experience.  As St. Iraneaus once put it, "The glory of God is man fully alive!"  In other words, being a seminarian or priest means more than just studying and praying all day, although it is all directed towards His greater glory!

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