Alex Volchek

Happily Ever After – As You Like It

Published in From Dramaturg Dr. Mary Ann Koory, Mainstage Plays

Sunday night was Closing Night for Marin Shakespeare’s 2014 production of As You Like It. I was there with about a dozen friends and students. Part of my responsibility as dramaturg, I have decided, is to bring as many people to the shows as I can, especially those who have never attended a Shakespeare play. I…

The Historical Reality of Fantasy Forests: Arden, Sherwood, and Sambisa – As You Like It

Published in From Dramaturg Dr. Mary Ann Koory, Mainstage Plays

“The Arden Forest is like all Shakespeare forests, except that it is possibly more amazing, as if it contained, repeated or foretold them all. Shakespearean forests are real and enchanted, tragic and grotesque; pathetic and lyrical scenes are performed in them . . . The Forest of Arden [is] the most English of all Shakespearean…

Shakespeare on a Desert Island and Shakespeare’s Desert Island Play Part II

Published in From Dramaturg Dr. Mary Ann Koory, Social Justice / Prison Programs

“Desert” is a shortened form of “deserted,” that is, uninhabited. But history suggests that a completely uninhabited island is like a vacuum, a “gap in nature,” as Shakespeare says elsewhere, that is, a natural impossibility. The action of The Tempest is confined to an unnamed “desert island” (2.1.35) somewhere in the Mediterranean. The shipwrecked character who calls…

Shakespeare on a Desert Island and Shakespeare’s Desert Island Play Part I

Published in From Dramaturg Dr. Mary Ann Koory, Social Justice / Prison Programs

This Fall the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. held an exhibit of a single printed copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. The Folger’s world-renowned collection includes 79 copies of the First Folio, the 1623 edition of Shakespeare’s Collected Works. You might expect this exhibition to have displayed a rare Folio – one with…