Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Macbeth presented in a whole new way!

How many times have we as parents sit down with our high school aged children and tried to explain the complexities of Shakespeare? How many of us have cried “Isn’t there a simpler way to understand this guy and his writing?”

Ok, maybe just me, but still…trying to get a teenager interested in the Old English language of Shakespeare can be trying, at best.

The folks at the Folger Shakespeare Library must have heard the anguished cry of parents and teachers everywhere and developed a brilliant combination of book and DVD of one of the master’s best works, “Macbeth.” With detailed notes on each scene, the reader can watch the DVD and follow along with the book, and gain a whole new understanding of this classic play.

The performance presented on the DVD was conceived and directed by the famed magician Teller, of Penn and Teller, along with Aaron Poser. Incorporating the fanciful imaginings of Teller with the intriguing words of William Shakespeare, “Macbeth” is presented as a horrifying supernatural thriller that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The sets in the elegant Elizabethan Theatre are sparse, but the costuming and acting are superb.

The book and the DVD also includes -

• DVD of the 2008 Folger Theatre/Two River Theater Company production with over 50 minutes of special features, including interviews with the directors, actors, designers, and scholars

• Foreword by directors Teller and Aaron Posner on the staging of Macbeth

• Freshly edited text based on the 1623 First Folio

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• A key to the play's famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language in Macbeth

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

• An essay by Susan Snyder that provides a modern perspective on the play

What a great way to experience the words and world of Shakespeare! I hope they develop other favorite plays of Shakespeare in this manner. Parents and English teachers everywhere would be eternally grateful!

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