My Top 10 Favorite Games – 6 of 10

My Top 10 Favorite Games – 6 of 10

Missing Shakespeare

“They talk weirid. There’s all those words.” She says. “I can’t understand.  I just don’t geet it.”

I’m on my third beer wondering how I’m going to convey in some sort of efficient, and un-condescending, way the significance of Shakespeare today.

It was an auditorial art. Reading and writing were not common back then, so the understudy couldn’t copy it with his photographic memory like he could today.  You had to hear the speech as it introduced its idea, treated you with a coquettish poetry, and bitch-slapped you in the face with a golden example of the human condition.

In England you go and listen to a play, not go and see a play. And it’s all English! – actually French and Italian too, but still – a language that’s got a dictionary you could reference.   Now back then the realm of entertainment also included public executions, animal fights, and you haven’t lived until you caught a good-o-fashin’ Bear-bating.  My point is: theater was full of improvisation; a going with the flow, if you will. Shakespeare had his own improv developments as actors mid-speech added and subtracted thoughts, lines, words, never to be trumped.

And then I look into her eyes and say, “She doth teach the torches to burn bright.” “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” “To thine own self be true.” “A fine night indeed when beer and stomach agree.” I made that last one up just as I spill into verbal Vomitorium spewing forth the following:

Hark! your pale interest, a sour
symptom of a grander plot, writ and scrolled 
by those who foe in yonder Republic –
can answer for your folly and by silence
itself speak a dark speech; bellowing with tones
of stupidity and greed, as it feeds upon funds
of tariffed weeds.  
If not for the white blossomed bosom, 
home to snowed mountains, fresh and 
welcoming, suppled and cherished in
wondrous – bravado and over the shoulder
boulder-holder, cupping the cascading curves,
unto Athenian locks a likening, locked me 
enslaved in your presence a prison where-in 
thy chipping speech; thou shrill beckin’ 
banshees have been besiege by, 
is of mystic enchantment and chains 
to my wrist whereupon hands of mercy, 
thy touch, ecstasy, erect and pointed to
Heaven’s gate where upon I gallop on, 
fiery footed steed.
 

At which point 70’s bass and drum beats que us to get-it-on.

Improvisation is a moment of uninhibited inspiration, a kind of impulse; raw and unpredictable. That impulse is felt as observer and artist create and witness the creation.  Shakespeare is the only man whom I find has put words to those impulses, these intense situations of betrayal and death, love and sacrifice, and these are not simple sensations.

The goal is not to only foster this fragile impulse, but make it big.  With a game like Missing Shakespeare; go big, or go home.

About the author

Ben Brinton is a native Utahan and U of U Graduate, with years of theatrical experience in various forms of theater. He currently performs as both actor and musician throughout Salt Lake. You can watch him at Quick Wits (Saturdays 10:00pm @ Midvale Main Stage) and at Wingnuts (Wed. 7:00pm in Millcreek). Troupes include: Quick Wits, Off the Wall, KYSoff, The HOOK, Laughing Stock, Off the Cuff, Full Ammo Improv. Theater Credits include: Assassins, Caberet, Kit Kat Cabaret, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Ceasar, West Side Story.

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