Shakespeare Fans discussion

Quarantine Buddies and News?

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Candy (last edited May 11, 2020 05:16PM) (new)

Candy | 2748 comments Mod
Dear Shakespeare's Fans,

I hope you are all doing well and making it through with as good of spirits as possible during this crisis.

I am sorry I haven't checked in here for so long. Honestly once we knew we had to stay home...if possible, and my work closed down...I wasn't much on doing reading (I felt I couldn't concentrate at firt on reading to be honest)....I did visit Facebook a lot...and I have watched WAY TOO much Netflix and tv shows and movies...I'm almost sore for laying down in front tof the tv.

But I did hear from a couple of other members here and with requests we try to start at least a little bit of discussion here...whenever we are ready.

I wuld love to hear from you here and what you have been doing to cope with this outbreak.

I dearly hope none of you have suffered.

In Chicago many of us are just staying home. As my husband and I work in the bar service...our work places are closed until at least June 26th. So...thats a lot to think about. We have groceries and our apartment is very comfortable...and other than probably gaining weight from over eating we are fine. We go outside to walk around the neighbourhood daily and we have friends who brought or made us masks. Like everyone else we have found it hard to believe we are experiencing this outbreak and the changes that have come with it.

I look forward to hearing from you and if you could check in that would be great!


message 2: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 583 comments Hello, Candy. I'm happy to hear that you are well.
We are still under strict lockdown here in Wales. I went round delivering notes to the older neighbours I knew to be living alone, but they all phoned back saying they had support networks. So then I volunteered to help the NHS, but it seems in Wales they aren't making use of volunteers.
So, instead, I have been doing Beta reading of not one, not two, but three epic fantasies from my writer friends, besides trying to do the final edit of my own latest.
I have had a cough since January, but it can't be the C virus, surely, as it wasn't even supposed to be in Europe then.
How is everyone else?

message 3: by Tom (last edited May 12, 2020 03:13PM) (new)

Tom Lane | 84 comments Greetings, Candy, Lucinda, and all the fellow Fans of Will,

These are strange days indeed, as John Lennon might have said. Practically everything that makes life for me in Chicago a wonder, is closed. Some library programs are trying online alternatives. Indoor music series and outdoor concerts are cancelled for the season; as are performances by two smaller Shakespeare troupes to which I subscribe, The Shakespeare Project, and the more fancifully named Midsommer Flight, let alone the swanky Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier (which usually would offer performances in the parks during the summers). The Field Museum of Natural History, where I give tours, is closed, though I am doing some editing of research materials for the museum from home. Springtime unfolds outside, but with parks and the Lake Michigan beaches and walks cordoned off, I am missing much of it.

Luckily before the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois imposed restrictions on people's movements, I and two acquaintances (and a cat) completed a move into a condominium that has a tiny beach on the lake as the building's backyard, a window on the natural world. The unit is actually two adjacent condos that were spliced together by the previous owners, who then decided to downsize and sold their old digs at a bargain rate. We three are single older males together for economic convenience. (One of my housemates describes us as the "Golden Girls" of guys, in reference to an American TV comedy.) With three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a nice kitchen, and two living rooms, each with a balcony attached, we have enough space to not get on each other' nerves too much. The two of them are homebodies, so are currently faring better than I, who am used to lots of activity. We have mostly divergent personalities and interests, but I have turned my housemates into fans of "Star Trek," and they no longer consider my Shakespeare enthusiasm as pretentious. One even alerted me to YouTube postings from the restored Globe and the RSC during this stressful period. (I also happened across the extensive American PBS network series, "Shakespeare Uncovered.")

When the closure of the city and government mandates to stay home came, I was deeply depressed for some weeks. I still am, to a large degree. I slept too much, and, like you, Candy, had difficulty concentrating on reading or any mental activity more strenuous than watching television. I am slowly pulling out of this. I am trying to think of the situation as a Zen retreat, or even a writer's retreat. I am reading more, trying some essay writing, doing meditation and tai chi, and practicing my Chinese calligraphy. I am encouraged by S., who found occasion to do some of his most renowned play writing while the London theaters were closed during plague times.

As I pull out of my funk* and become more ambitious, I would be happy to facilitate a discussion on our site. (Or you and me together, Candy?) We had been fighting the War of the Roses. How about the capstone, "Richard III"? I don't think the group has done this one; though I was away from the community for some time and may have missed it. I can get it online, though I would miss checking out the Arden edition, my favorite series for the Bard, from the (closed) library.

(*Did you ever notice that Funke sounds like a name for a British sports car? 007 would drive one.)

Newstok's book, "How to Think Like Shakespeare," based on the interview we are linked to, sounds less specifically geared to Shakespeare mavens, than a philosophy of education and critique of present practices. The things he highlights are pet peeves of mine, as a former teacher. I would be interested to read it on that basis. But maybe wait for it to come out at the (reopened someday) library. Or, Candy, I could split the cost of a copy with you. Since we are both in Chicago we can share it for reading. Give the author a little honorarium.

This morning the Blue Angels, the US Air Force stunt team, performed flyovers of Chicago, and two other Midwest cities, Detroit and Indianapolis, in salute to health care workers. (I suppose they will do that across the country.) I and one of my housemates went out to our beach to watch it. Anything to relieve the tedium. (Chicago's annual summer lakefront air show may not happen in 2020.)

Stay sane, everyone.


message 4: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2748 comments Mod

Very good to hear from both of you!

Yes this has been strange days indeed. I know its very difficult to het our heads around living low key for not just two months but quite possibly many more.

Today I got together with a couple of friends in a back garden and that the first I've really seen of any one...other than other grocery shoppers for a long time.

More in a bit...

Yes lets figure out a read...I'm pretty open minded lets see f anyone else shows up!

Big hugs

message 5: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel | 180 comments Thanks Candy, Lucinda, Tom.
The lockdown hasn't been too bad for me. I live in a semi rural area about 30 miles west of London and have been able to walk (with our dog) once a day, which is as much walking as I ever did. There are lovely places to walk within a mile or two of here. Daughter in law has been shopping for us once a week. One or two people in the extended family and friends network have had the virus and recovered. One very elderly relative in New York has died but it's not clear if it was from this. What apalls me is the narrowness of the news and media. The whole narrative is only about 'when will we be able to get back to normal', no space given for 'how can we change things'. I'm trying to get a few ideas into currency about government starting a big ecojob creation scheme for people losing their jobs and businesses, on the basis of shifting the economy onto a more environmental basis, and opening up public debate to ideas from citizen groups. This is nothing directly to do with Shakespeare, but it's all connected in my mind! I'm goiing to get the book you mentioned. I'm determined not to give in to: 'I wasted time and now doth time waste me' (R II in prison). Keep well, everyone.

message 6: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2748 comments Mod
You have said this so well../

I believe part of the reason we are stuggling on how "to reopen" is because we are stuck on trying to return to normal!

Yes...let us know if we can participate or help!!1

this whole thing has occured because we have a terrible disrespect for other animals and lifeforms ruining their habitats and not being respectful to wold animals.

message 7: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 1 comments Hi, everyone! I'm in Texas and at this point, our numbers of infected have been low, especially given that we are the second most populous state in the country. My husband and I have been following quarantine pretty strictly. Both of us are working from home (he already did so) and we only go out for necessary store runs, armed with our trusty masks! Things are starting to open back up--you can now have a meal inside of a restaurant again. But we are still playing it safe.

As a teacher, I'm really interested in what the next school year will look like! I'm just glad I'm not the one who has to figure that out--it is a very complex problem. Now that I'm at home, I will have time to participate in a group read, so I will keep checking to see if one is going to happen!

message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee (leethuo) | 1 comments Hi everyone am in Kenya .things are not so bad at the moment but it's a struggle especially for people who work in schools and hotels are. Am a student at Kenyatta University and can say so far I've heard enough time to read more books aside from the school ones 😂.I hope we all survive looking forward to more excitement through reading

message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 97 comments Greetings from Cincinnati.

We are slowly reopening while maintaining social distancing.

I am at home with my wife and four young children. She has been teaching birth classes remotely in the evenings and I am teaching middle school (ages 12-14) remotely during the day. It's been busy but not too bad.

I have been unhappy with my school for some time now. My instruction has been micromanaged by an incompetent administrator. The first thing she got rid of after being hired was the spring Shakespeare unit.

I am changing jobs right now. It has been emotional to pack up a classroom I taught in for 18 years during a pandemic, but I am looking forward to a more supportive work environment next year. Of course, I have no idea what school will look like in August.

It's a weird time to be a teacher.

message 10: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Phil wrote: "Greetings from Cincinnati.

We are slowly reopening while maintaining social distancing...

It's a weird time to be a teacher..."

My daughter, who is head of the sociology department at a community college, and who has taught online classes but always hated it (preferring the in-person classroom dynamic), has been forced with all her colleagues to move all her classes online for the time being. The discussion they are having now is how to proceed in the spring... it's even been suggested they run their classes at drive-in theaters (and yes, drive-in theaters are making a come-back). It is indeed all very weird, but in many ways it is also necessary and encouraging, because the curriculum and format of public education has been stultified for some time now, and needs shaking up in order to evolve into a more workable and viable and credible educational tool. At least, that's my opinion.

I'm very glad to hear you are getting out from under a difficult administration. Academia and its politics can be soul killing to a teacher, and even the best ones can be defeated.

message 11: by Esther (last edited May 13, 2020 11:36PM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 10 comments I have always been a lurker in this group but am interested by people's experiences.
I am in Israel and we are 'exiting' at the moment.
During lockdown I worked from home but now that is not allowed and we all have to return to the office. This is problematic as neither childcare/schools nor public transport have returned to full capacity.

For a while we were restricted to moving only 100m from home except for shopping/medical visits so even though I live in a lovely rural area I couldn't take walks. But we learnt to appreciate our balcony. Honestly I enjoyed being at home so much with my family and am not so enthusiastic about the 'return to normal'.

I tend to do most of my reading on my commute and with my husband on short days and both adult children at home I didn't get a lot of 'me' time and my reading is close to zero.
I did get to see Hamlet and Romeo&Juliet from The Globe. The Hamlet I enjoyed very much once I got used to the gender switches.
I have, during lockdown, watched 1 opera, 2 ballet versions and The Globe version of R&J and have realised that I just don't find the story very exciting. I only truly enjoy exceptional productions like the Baz Luhrmann film!!!
In additon to The Globe productions I have been consuming large quantities of culture thanks to The Met Opera, The Royal Opera House and The Bolshoi Ballet, with the occasional Netflix binges of Good Omens, Star Trek and Unorthodox.

message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine | 434 comments Hi everyone! Candy, thanks for this thread. Fellow Chicagoan here (as you know) and I have been very disappointed and depressed with all of it. At least we can go out and take walks, and it is a beautiful time of year. I have been reading a lot of books, those on the shelf ones that I meant to get to. So that has been good. Stay well and take care.

message 13: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 8 comments Good to see/read ya'll. we are doing well, but I just got some bad news. This years Utah Shakespeare Festival has been canceled :( It is the first time it has not run since its founding in 1961. I was really looking forward to this year - Richard III was on the schedule.

Utah is slowly opening. I've been declared essential, so I have to go in to work everyday. At least I still have a job :(

message 14: by Bryn (last edited May 15, 2020 09:49PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 170 comments Esther wrote: "... I did get to see Hamlet and Romeo&Juliet from The Globe..."

I'm watching the Globe on YouTube too. I missed Hamlet (unfortunately -- I'd have liked to see the gender switches), but greatly enjoyed The Two Noble Kinsmen -- available until May 18, when we change to A Winter's Tale. The Two Noble Kinsmen is my fave lesser-performed Shakespeare, and I can't imagine how you do this one better than the Globe has done it. Shout-outs to Emilia, Hippolyta, and of course the Jailer's Daughter. It's fun and funny, recommended.

Find here if you're looking!

message 15: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 10 comments Bryn wrote: "Esther wrote: "... I did get to see Hamlet and Romeo&Juliet from The Globe..."

I'm watching the Globe on YouTube too. I missed Hamlet (unfortunately -- I'd have liked to see the gender switches), ..."

I want to watch Two Noble Kinsman today.
Last week I watched The Royal Ballet's interpretation of A Winter's Tale. It was beautiful.

message 16: by Tim (last edited May 16, 2020 12:43AM) (new)

Tim Horwood | 17 comments I enjoyed The Two Noble Kinsmen as well. Catch it while you can.

message 17: by Esther (last edited May 16, 2020 10:38PM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 10 comments I have just watched it. A great production but the story is still sad.
I notice that a lot of these filmed Globe productions play to the laughs.

The first play I actually saw at The Globe was quite a dark version of Taming of the Shrew, which is problematic anyway, and the traditional jig at the end seemed a little out of place.

Either I am getting used to it or these filmed productions manage to end on a more 'up tone' so the jig seems more fitting.

message 18: by Christine (new)

Christine | 434 comments Bryn wrote: "I'm watching the Globe on YouTube too...."

Thanks for the link!

message 19: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel | 180 comments About Two Noble Kinsmen: it strikes me that the jailer's daughter is a much more developed concept of Ophelia, thanks probably more to John Fletcher, the collaborator, than Shakespeare himself. Why has she no name? She's a major character. I suspect she was originally meant to be a minor character and then got developed. Like Ophelia she goes mad because of impossible love choices but unlike Ophelia she articulates them powerfully, and is saved by radical advice from the doctor to have sex before marriage. Fletcher critiqued The Taming of the Shrew by writing The Tamer Tamed, in which the women get the upper hand. So I feel sure it would be he who put psychological substance into the jailer's daughter. What do you think?

message 20: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 10 comments Gabriel wrote: "About Two Noble Kinsmen: it strikes me that the jailer's daughter is a much more developed concept of Ophelia, thanks probably more to John Fletcher, the collaborator, than Shakespeare himself. Why..."

Interesting - I had the same thoughts about the jailer's daughter. She has no name but is one of the biggest roles in the play.

And it seems I should now read The Tamer Tamed.

message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine | 434 comments Under quarantine and now under curfew due to the violence that had devastated our city. So sad. Hope everyone is staying safe.

message 22: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2748 comments Mod
Hi everyone,
Wow so good to read all of your posts and sorry it took me so lng to get back here and post a response.

Mostly I am just so glad to hear how people are responding to the ongoing changes we are feeling.

The first days of protests were infected with white supremists here in Chicago, and a few robberies. I guess robbers knew they could take advantage of protestors to rob stores or commit vandalism. The white Supremists, Proud Boys and Bugaloo HATERS seem to have been caught...often by the protestors!

So now for over a week in Chicago the peaceful protestors have captured peoples hearts with their bravery.

I hope the protests contine to influence us to be better people and antiracists.

I have been taking the lessons fr many of my online friends or celelbrities who have posted reading lists, movies for people to educate themselves. Some of these have been "White People Your Homework"

Stagg and I watched 13th on Netflix, here is the trailer...

And I read HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST and it was incredible a real page turner and so well and thoughtfully written.

message 23: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 10 comments We have exited and infections are up dramatically. Half the schools that opened are now closed again and the children quarantined.
Everyone is worried about a second wave.

We have been watching news from the States and there have been a few demonstrations here too.
I am pleased and pleasantly surprised that, according to the news, rioters/looters have been arrested and restrained so that now most protests get to remain peaceful.

message 24: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2748 comments Mod
Hi Ester, most of the "looters" were identified as white supremists groups, "Proud Boys" and KKK who wanted to create the ruour that BLACK LIVES MATTEr demonstrations were violent or rioting.

Nothing could be further from the truth the demonstations have been peaceful. We are on day 27 I think now....and they are ongoing marches and sit-ins with a diverse group of young people demanding social justice and income well as to defund or abolish the police.

I am so prud of these peaceful young people who have already succeeded in putting pressure on civil servants to reform law enforcement. other news back to here...anyone in for a group read?

I'll start a question see if we have anyone interested

back to top