Shakespeare without Tears

Join us for a peaceful humanities retreat in the heart of Lewis & Clark’s Bitterroot Mountains. Enjoy good food, fine wine, a magical landscape, snug cabins, great books, and the kinds of conversations you always dream about when you read. Clay S. Jenkinson is a master conversationalist, facilitator, and storyteller, and he looks forward to these days of playful but serious discussion for the full year.

Bring your friends. Make new ones. Rest, read, sip, meditate, converse, confess, and argue in the best sense of the term. Soak in the hot springs.

Four Plays in Four Days: OthelloHenry IVMacbethAnthony and Cleopatra. We will spend each day exploring the language, the imagery, the historical background, and the meaning of these four plays. There will be extensive use of video clips from productions of the plays, to show how different directors have handled key scenes. To understand the dynamics of the Elizabethan stage we will begin by watching together the extraordinary Globe Theater production of Twelfth Night, starring Mark Rylance as Olivia.

We'll do some reader's theater along the way, study as many as a dozen sonnets, and discuss a few key scenes from HamletKing Lear, and Merchant of Venice, too.

The way to prepare is to read all the plays listed, watch at least one film version of each, and read Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage.

Frame your mind to mirth and
merriment which bars a thousand harms
and lengthens life.
— Taming of the Shrew

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