All really great things come to an end. Today was the last day of the Summer Academy. The day consisted of presenting our projects and acting out our scenes. What amazing projects the talented participants provided! They ranged from exploring the historical context of the ghost to women playing Hamlet (Sarah Bernhardt) to studying how Hamlet has been visually represented in old illustrations–and so much in between. I am humbled to have been part of this cavalcade of ingenuity. Since these 29 teachers are from all parts of the continental US, you can rest assured quality education is still very much and profoundly around.
The second highlight involved performing. We only had two practices but some people managed to memorize their lines! Our group was assigned Act Five and we stylized it as a cocktail party. Hamlet played some melancholy blues on the stage piano and when Laertes walked into the party they fought with the cocktail swords. It brought down the house. I played my Horatio a bit too heartfelt. In retrospect, I would have camped it up considering my BFF was basically a lush and tended towards rash actions with deterimental consequences.
What was really cool was the fact that we acted on America’s first Shakespearean stage. Yup, my first and last stage Bard play appearance (maybe) took place on an authentic stage. The film crew did not return, which took a lot of pressure off our already ramped up nervousness.
Last events included food, fun, and fellowship–the best parts of the day.
Tomorrow I head back to (still) hot (but not muggy) Northwest.
See ya around, DC. The rest will be a much anticipated silence from the continual hum of a great city.