MY LIFE WITH THE SHAKESPEARE CULT
The theatre Shakespeare built was a freaking madhouse. A riot. A hoot. It was full of unruly drunks whose other big hobby was watching dogs fight bears. Today, we stick his plays in theatres that are stuffy, mannered, and boring as hell, with audiences that are sober, polite, and prone to naps.
This is madness.
Since 2011, in the backs of Chicago bars, in the sweat and hum of standing-room only crowds, the Back Room Shakespeare Project has been at the fire, forging its tools. The Project aims to build a bridge that can cross the sad gap between the sleepy, tame Shakespeare we've inherited and the recklessly wonderful kind that is still possible.
I am one of the Project’s founders. Since 2011, I have helped run it. This little book is about the tools we have made, and why we have made them.
One part loveletter, one part history, three parts call to arms.