I mean, I can’t blame Ian Doescher for “stealing” my title. After all, it’s not like the term “project” is something I’ve trademarked.
Let’s face it. There is an inarguable and undeniable aptness in taking a sustained plan of effort—a project, if you will—that’s organized around a core theme—say, for example, reading all of Shakespeare’s works in a 12-month span—and choosing to call that a Shakespeare Project. It’s not like Doescher knew I had a different Shakespeare Project going on, or that I’d choose to mix my project with his.
Let’s be real: it’s not as if Ian Doescher even knows who the fuck I am.* (Nor should he. *grin*)
And, in full nuanced honestly, the reading project incorporates the year within its name. So if I wanted to, I could use that detail of the naming convention to distinguish the new reading project from my original see-all-the-plays-in-person project.
The Shakespeare Project vs the Shakespeare 2020 Project,as it were.
But that just feels clunky to me, somehow. So I have a feeling that here on Will4Will, I’m just gonna be talking about the reading project as Shakespeare Project the Second.
Yes, it’s a deliberately archaic coinage. (Part of the charm.) Yes, it has almost as many syllables as the real name, so there’s no special gain there. But there’s something about the sequentiality here that I find super-helpful. The project I started out however-many years ago versus the subsequent project I picked up last November or December. It’s a distinction that helps my brain keep things sorted.
So here we are: with Shakespeare Project the Second. An endeavor that will, I hope, inspire me to write more here on Will4Will.
My status remains exactly where it was when I first mentioned this over on JALC: 3 weeks and 3 works behind. I’m not sure when—or if—I’ll be catching up any time soon. (Especially given my current struggles with maintaining mental focus amidst global crisis.)
I do know that, unlike the rules of engagement for my original Shakespeare Project, I am going to be absolutely making a priority of watching taped performances of the plays. Not only will it help me grok things even with my brain fog, it will be a lovely way to vary my days whilst in COVID lockdown.
I also know that I’m a little intimidated to be blogging publicly about my journey through this reading project. I’ve been reading the Facebook group, and y’all, this is a seriously impressive bunch of folks. They are posting all manner of cool resources and performance-based observations and keen insights. Part of me legitimately does not know what of value I’ll have to add to the conversation.
But still. I’ve studied Shakespeare. (A long time ago.) And I’ve taught Shakespeare. (A little bit. A long time ago.) And I’ve performed Shakespeare. (Only twice, in small roles.) And I’ve currently seen 32 of the canonical 39 plays in live productions.**
And I’ve done all of that because I love this writing and I love these works.
So I’m just going to trust that this labor of love—the reading, the videoed performances, and the blogging—will be worthwhile for me. While will make it worthwhile in full, whether or not I say anything deemed to be insightful.
*I, however, have a fond awareness of Doescher, having purchased numerous entries in his Star Wars series as gifts for the hubs.
Image credit: Photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.