Contributed by Patti Moore
Author: Tina Packer, founding artisitic director of Shakespeare & Company, has directed most of and taught the entire canon
Why you should read it: Insight into women’s roles in Shakespeare’s life, Elizabethan England, and Shakespeare’s plays. Great if you are embarking on a show of the era or Shakespeare’s work itself, inspiring if you are a creator of art.
What I thought:
I have to say that when I heard this book existed, I expected it to be a meditation on how badass Shakespeare’s ladies are. I’m pleased to report that it’s not the book I wanted, but rather the book I didn’t know I needed. It springs from decades of acting and directing Shakespeare’s work, living and breathing the women he wrote. It strives to understand the journey his women take from the pawns of men to the healers of the world, with all the varying shades of womanhood they inhabit in between. It ranges far and wide from the central theme with meditations about our modern era, Shakespeare’s personal life, and, perhaps most importantly, the role of art in the world. Shakespeare’s women become one lens through which to view his work, a lens that makes sense to Tina and myself as women who say his words. If you’re working with the bard or his contemporaries, if he is a favorite of yours, or even if you’re feeling stuck in your own creative life, pick it up and spend a few afternoons with Tina. You won’t regret it.
blog post contributed by Patti Moore