Thursday, November 21, 2013

Peeing in the Bushes at Ashland's Shakespeare Festival / A Story of Cymbeline in the Woods

“I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up so early.”   -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

What more can I say... this one was on the list for months!
“Lest the bargain should catch cold and starve.
If she be furnished with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

I arrived in Ashland with only one thing in mind... bring my girls to their first Shakespeare play.
“That angel of the world -- doth make distinction
Of place 'tween high and low.   -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare”

Shakespeare's Cymbeline is a perfect introduction, a fairy tale princess  (similar to As You Like It) who must enter the forest dressed in a boy's guise to save those she loves most.  It's funny and silly and kept my daughters on the edge of their balcony seat the whole way through,
 Rebekah's American Journal:  "We stayed up until midnight watching our first Shakespeare play, "Cymbeline."  It was a fairy tale.  We stayed at the Stratford Inn and had Sushi for dinner.  Daddy bought us masks.  It was so much fun."
“Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion.” -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare 

And yes, we journaled throughout the production.  Drawing and scribbling until it got too dark to see.  This is the outdoor Elizabethan theater mind you.
“It is no act of common passage, but a strain of rareness.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

Birds swooping in and car alarms going off and characters making quick changes and bawdy jokes.  The folks around us practically giddy to see two little girls with their dad scribbling and whispering away.  
“I have not slept one wink.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

At least five different people came up to us afterwards to chat and talk about how wonderful it was to see children at the performance.  (I looked, there were no other kids in attendance that night)  One woman told me of how her father used to take her to plays and she sat on his lap...fighting back a tear.  It was very touching.
“Thou art all the comfort  the gods will diet me with.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

They also marveled that my daughters understood the play's plot so well... until Rebekah spilled the beans, saying her dad had been secretly reading it to them for months.  Nice one, kiddo!  Letting the cat outta the bag.
“The game is up!”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

But there is one family secret that I will share... a funny little anecdote to go along with such a splendid night.  One that makes my daughters and I giggle every time we talk about it.  At intermission, as we hurried downstairs to see all the refined adults filling their glasses of wine and the women in fine dresses standing in the lobby ... and seeing the line of men thirty deep winding outside the restroom... my daughter's did the only sensible thing!
“Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages.”
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

They ran around back, outside the Elizabethan Theater... and copped a squat like Cymbeline... then walked casually back inside like nothing ever happened. It is my favorite, most hilarious detail of the night.  On my daughter's first Shakespeare play, they pee'd in the bushes.
“Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”  -Cymbeline, W. Shakespeare

It was well past midnight when we made it back to the hotel.  I'd promised ice cream and a dip in the pool, which we did.  Late into the early dawn I sat back on the deck and watched my daughters splash and recite lines back and forth until exhaustion... content beyond the measure of any king's wealth.

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