This course explores Shakespeare's plays through performance. We will spend every class period looking in detail at Shakespeare's texts, at the interpretive challenges they present, and at the way performance choices contribute to their meaning. We will consider the original circumstances of their performance, their subsequent history on stage and film, and the critical controversies they have occasioned. Above all, we will explore them in action, through our own creative work, both in the classroom and in the theatre barn at Winedale.
The course is designed for students with an interest in Shakespeare and a willingness to perform in front of others. Previous experience with acting is not necessary. This spring the course will cover a selection of Shakespeare's romantic comedies and will culminate in a performance a Winedale. We will also incorporate readings from other Shakespearean texts and criticism. This class will require you to spend three weekends at The University of Texas Winedale Historical Center. These sessions at Winedale are required; they are the most important part of the course. During these weekends, you will be working very long hours on the play, from early morning to late at night. You should be prepared for this commitment before you register. The course concludes with public performances of the plays in the Winedale Theatre Barn. Seating is limited; tell your family and friends to make reservations early.
Last year the Shakespeare at Winedale Spring Class had two performances of All’s Well That Ends Well at the Winedale Theatre Barn on April 26th and 27th at 7:00. These performances were the culmination of a semester of coursework focusing on ‘Shakespeare’s Problem Plays in Performance.’ Tickets are $10; $5 for UT ID-holders and students. Tickets are available here or by calling (512) 471-4726.
‘Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth, But the plain single vow that is vow’d true. – IV.ii
All’s Well That Ends Well is an adult fairy tale that follows the low-born Helena’s arduous journey to win the love of the haughty Count Bertram. Unrequited love, reversed gender roles, aristocratic pride, and wartime lies arise on the journey, presented to the audience with a thorny mixture of romantic optimism and real-world pessimism.
“This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and one far too few people have read or seen,” said Shakespeare at Winedale Director and Regents Professor, James Loehlin. “It feels very contemporary in the way it mixes drama and comedy, and in its resourceful but vulnerable heroine, Helena. One of the characters says that 'the web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together,' and I think that sums up the outlook of this very funny but bittersweet comedy.”
How to Apply
We are now currently accepting applications for the 2014 Spring Class. Applications are available here.