Eugene Kusterer presents All Clear! Shakespeare

ALL CLEAR SHAKESPEARE: translating the antique and unveiling the antic.

“Hallowed ground” would not be an inappropriate description of the Bard’s plays. There is much therein that is familiar and cherished. But overall, a good bit of dread looms over the prospect of reading Shakespeare or seeing a stage production which is very liable to be “dreadful” indeed!

An obvious solution would be to become a dedicated student of Renaissance literature. Doing the sweaty work of slogging through footnotes can be rewarding. But the theatrical experience of being carried along by the action’s momentum must be set aside.

This lover of the Bard does not think it is a disservice to deliver a “translation” (from English to English) that restores that experience, initially for the reader, but hopefully even for an audience watching a production where some brave director has chosen to use an AC!L script. The good news is this restoration is here achieved without the sacrifice of the punch, élan, richness and conciseness of the poetic line.

Reducing the entire play to prose (e.g. No Fear Shakespeare series) sacrifices too much in the quest for clarity. Love live iambic pentameter!

Author Bio:

Gene attended Stanford (MFA – Theatre); directed at Theater Charlotte – then known as LTC - (8 yrs.); acted in CPCC’s Summer Theatre (4 yrs – John Adams, Fagin, Harold Hill, Professor Higgins.); taught theatre in CMS and elsewhere (15 yrs.); was “in the movies” (shot dead in a couple of low-budget films); married Jane (he had cast her in an LTC play); fathered two children (each “theatrical” in his/her own way). In the twilight years, Gene has played Weller Martin in Gin Game for Generations Group; and directed Member of the Wedding at CPCC [where many, many years before he had directed The House of Bernarda Alba]. His mammoth project, All Clear! Shakespeare, began some 25 years ago at Charlotte’s Piedmont Middle School with a staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His “translation” excited the entire student body and the faculty! A mission was born: making the Bard more accessible; eradicating the sour experience of having Shakespeare jammed down ones throat in high school; compensating for the many awful productions one tried to sit through! Twelve scripts later, the mission continues!


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Event date: 
Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
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