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How Shakespeare Won The West - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

How Shakespeare Won The West

Richard Nelson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

9m, 4f

ISBN: 9780881454529

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author
: Acting Edition

Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

 “Engaging, energetic, amusing, and clearly in love with the art of telling stories onstage… The mix of laughter and tears feels right for the ridiculous but touching tale of a ragtag group of theatrical journeymen and has-beens who, unable to find work in New York and hearing rumors of Gold Rush riches, form a stage troupe and head west.  The opening scenes in New York, which have the actors gathering in a tavern and trading stories of shows they’ve endured—from playing third banana to a pair of screeching child stars doing bad Shakespeare to carrying out schemes for P T Barnum—are both hilarious and based, more or less loosely, in historical fact.   Funny as they are, they also make it clear just why these people are desperate enough to strike off into the wilderness, leaving everything but their vague dreams of stardom behind.  The New York theater scene of the 180s that Nelson pains so vividly is a free-for-all, and perhaps n less a wilderness than the one they’re headed to   These early scenes introduce the plays central structural device, which is a key part of its charm. All the characters take turns serving as narrator, sometimes interrupting or correcting or embellishing each other’s stories, and as one recalls an incident, others act it out.  This makes for a vivid and truly playful atmosphere onstage, one that celebrates the imaginative power of acting by—well, by acting.   What’s most rewarding about HOW SHAKESPEARE WON THE WEST is the lively collaborative spirit that this structure creates. We’re getting to know Nelson’s characters through their stories, which they’re at once telling and living…   This sprawling, lively tale of wild spirits in the Wild West feels fresh, stimulating, and American in the best way.”Louise Kennedy, The Boston Globe    “A rollicking history lesson on American expansion, a celebration of this country’s long love affair with Shakespeare, a chronicle of the can-do pioneering spirit and a valentine to the transformative powers of the theater.”Frank Rizzo, Variety


9m, 4f

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