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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Highlights from Cedar City

I have received a few questions about what is so amazing about Cedar City and what special allure attending a festival dedicated to Shakespeare holds. Well since I was a young girl of 12 I have had a secret love of Shakespeare. I had a brave English teacher that made us read "Romeo and Juliet" and then watch the 1970's version of "Romeo and Juliet" and I was instantly hooked. She noticed that I had a special knack and interest in Shakespeare and so she introduced me to, "The Taming of the Shrew" and it continued on to this day of reading about 25 of the 37 plays. My husband served his mission in the Birmingham England Mission and actually served in Stratsford-Upon-Avon the home of Shakespeare and his theater the Globe. Eight months after we were married Bill and I traveled to England where we were able to visit Shakespeare's home, the Anne Hathaway Cottage, and the outside of the Globe. We weren't able to see any plays and so Bill promised me that one day he would take me to Cedar City to attend the Shakespearean Festival.

But why Shakespeare? I have a deep love for the intrigue, the duality, the complexity of the characters, the humor, and the tenderness, and poetry that I find in my reading of Shakespeare. Though his plays were written over 400 years ago, they are still relevant today. He understood human nature and though times and language have changed what makes us who we are hasn't thus Shakespeare is still relevant. I love to dig deep down and examine what he was saying not just in a literal sense, but in a figurative sense as well. I love to really question and ponder what he is conveying. I love having a few friends that love Shakespeare as well and we really get into some amazing discussions about the plays. (I love doing this with anything I read, see or watch not just Shakespeare stuff!!)

I also enjoyed sharing my love of Shakespeare with my true love Bill. It was a lot of fun to be together in this amazing setting. We enjoyed a modernization of "The Taming of The Shrew" where the costumes and play were set in Italy at the end of WWII around 1947. The words were the same but the time references were more modern and relateable. Then we were favored with a great performance of "Othello." Curious choices for us since we were celebrating our 12 year anniversary!

We also enjoyed seeing parts of Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon, and Cedar Canyon. We have already decided that this will be our new tradition and that we will attend every year. Next year we will catch one Shakespearean play and one of the modern plays that the Festival offers. The only problem will be choosing 2 out of the 6 plays that they offer! Good thing we have a year to decide! If you enjoy theater, literature, and Award Winning performances, then I highly recommend this festival. Bill and I enjoyed how accommodating and helpful everyone was. We were afraid that we would be amongst stuffy people that would make us feel inferior or something like that but instead what we found were ordinary people passionate about Shakespeare and art in general that wanted to share and enjoy Shakespeare with you. There are different discussion groups, literary groups, backstage tours, costume seminars, productions seminars, acting seminars, lunch with the actors and directors. Not to mention the fun filled humorous romp of the Green Show, yummy English fare, a great gift shop, and tons more! There is so much to do with the festival that you don't have much time for exploring the Canyons or area surrounding. It was such a great experience and I am still smiling from ear to ear knowing that my hubby must love me lots and lots to have given me this amazing gift!

I am taking Introduction to Shakespeare this Fall and I am super excited since I know the professor and we will be readings some of my favorites this Fall. This was a great way to whet my palate and get me super excited to go back to school! It was a great trip and I am so grateful for this experience! Thank you sweetie!

5 comments:

Havilah said...

I'm so glad you got to go to Cedar City! When I was a kid my family had a tradition of going to the Shakespearean Festival every year. I think those memories are among my fondest. Next time you go you need to catch the Medieval Feast! It's a multiple course meal (I think 8 courses if I remember right) where you have to pretend you're living back in the olden times. Live entertainment by a jester is included. They don't let you use utensils either (unless you really want to).

The Fullmers said...

Havilah,
How amazing what a great tradition! Bill and I want to share it with Liam when he gets older but sadly they don't do the Medievel Feast anymore! We keep hearing about it and wish that we could have experienced it, it sounds like tons of fun!

Rachel said...

That is so cool Moana that you and Bill have this same passion. That does look like such a fun trip! One day we'll have to do that, you definitely made it sound interesting.

Murdoch Clan said...

Wow Sis! You guys had quite the trip! I didn't realize all of the other stuff you did like going to Bryce Canyon, that is really beautiful! So glad you're starting the school year off with your love of Shakespeare, good luck! Bill you're awesome for taking Moey=) Love Laura

Michelle said...

How awesome to have that experience before taking the class! Sounds like an amazing time! I'm glad you and Bill were able to get away and share something you both have a love for.