In a recent panel discussion about the transformative power of Shakespeare, George Drance, SJ, speaks of how Shakespeare grappled with the conflicts of his day as he worked with language, hammering it into form. He sees this process as a metaphor for teaching us “What the hope of form is for us; a place to put our energy, a place to put our hopes, to put our dreams . . .”
Drance tells the story of a teacher who is working with a young actress. The student is struggling with unfamiliar language and complains, “But, we don’t talk like that . . . ” The teacher responds, “We would if we could.” Shakespeare teaches us, says Drance, to speak in a way that we would if we could.
When I imagine form as a receptacle of hope, my craft takes on a new dimension. Comments welcome.
(Sponsored by Elements Theatre Company, How Shakespeare Humanizes Our Culture: The Transforming Power of His Work took place February 7th at The Players, New York, NY. It can be viewed in its entirety at http://elementstheatre.org)