Hello Internet, today is Friday, June 15th, and on Sunday I am flying to my hometown of Ottawa to spend two weeks directing someÂ amazing performers in a zany, ridiculous, over-the-top rendition of William Shakespeare’sÂ The Tragedy of Cymbeline.
Some things you should know:
1)Â The Tragedy of CymbelineÂ is not a tragedy.
Not under any definition of tragedy that your high school English teacher would accept, anyway. The good guys don’t die. The bad guys… sometimes do die, but it’s OK because they’re just so MEAN. It doesn’t quite end in a wedding (the definition of a comedy, somebody once told me), but the lovers are OK at the end. So it’s definitely not a tragedy. Lots of things are tragic, butÂ CymbelineÂ is not one of those things.
2)Â The Tragedy of Cymbeline is not about Cymbeline
Like, Cymbeline is IN the play but it’s so – very – not about Cymbeline. Cymbeline is the King of England but he’s not a Hamlet, or a Macbeth, or a Lear. He doesn’t have a tragic flaw that leads to his eventual demise. He doesn’t fall in love or go wandering in the woods carving poems into trees. Cymbeline’s daughter is actually the star of the show, but in the olden days we didn’t name plays after women *coughcoughMEDEAcough* so we start the show with a big red herring.
3)Â The Tragedy of Cymbeline is about 3 hours long before cuts
Don’t worry, though! This one is gonna be 90 minutes!
I’m honestly very excited to be directing something in Ottawa for the first time in 15 years, and I am very enthusiastic about the company I’m working with – it’s going to be a great time.
Cymbeline will be touring parks in the Ottawa area from July 4-August 5 and admission is by donation (suggested $20). Check here for the schedule.