Remembrance. Nick Schifrin reflects on his experiences of the 9/11 attack on Reporter’s Notebook: Mulling Revenge, via Shakespeare, After 9/11. Such events, 10 years ago and today, reminds him of Titus Andronicus, particularly of the effect on the people, “In Afghanistan and Pakistan, where I have lived for the last three years, I’ve often wondered: Has the United States made many of the same mistakes that Titus Andronicus and his fellow tragedians made? Prioritizing revenge and killing the enemy over helping the local populations? Choosing allies who help produce short-term gratification (security gains) but long-term trouble? Refusing to truly engage with a population that seemed so different from themselves?”
There is something to learn about Shakespeare everyday. There is always a revelation, either in our everyday lives or in the world we live in. Hopefully, we do not make the mistakes of Titus Andronicus, “ At its core, “Titus Andronicus” is a play about how good people can become unhinged and, indeed, overwhelmed by the need to avenge. It is about how powerful people surrender themselves to cycles of violence, how tribal and religious customs unequivocally demand retaliation and how two tribes or two religions’ speaking past each other rather than with each other can lead to chaos.”
Looking Forward. Though Shakespeare helps is in looking back and in remembrance, the Bard is also helpful in looking forward. The event that’s been cropping up repeatedly, “THE BIGGEST ever celebration of Shakespeare was launched in Stratford this week. The World Shakespeare Festival, which runs next year starting on the Bard’s birthday on April 23 and running through to November, is being organised by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival.With new research showing half the world’s children studying the Bard’s works, The World Shakespeare Festival will celebrate Shakespeare as the world’s playwright. Thousands of artists and over 50 arts organisations have come together to take part in the Festival, a collaboration of extraordinary scale and ambition.”
Reaching Out. Week after week, a new app is coming out for the bard, “The Shakespeare In Bits series has a new iPad app today, with three hours of animation telling the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – presented alongside notes, character biographies and the original text. It follows previous editions for Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.”
Whether it is in looking forward, looking back, or in reaching out, there seems to be a renewed love for Shakespeare everywhere. Everyone is opening caskets.
Also, I hope you would indulge me in giving my own voice as I review PETA’s William, the rap musical from the Philippines.