Shakespeare on the Mountain

Dear Liza,

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A new favorite place!

On Friday night, we tried a new pub for dinner, The Thirsty Monk, on SE 32nd just off Hawthorne. Actually, we had been there last summer, but only for a beer on a hot day while the Hawthorne Street fair was going on. We had tacos, french fries, and yummy chips. We have now added it to our list of favorite places!

Friday night was also the first play of the season for the Original Practice Shakespeare Company. As I told you last summer, this is a group of people who put on free Shakespeare plays in the city parks, and they don’t rehearse! Each actor has his or her own lines on a scroll in their hand, but they don’t practice together and don’t know what the other actor’s lines are.

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The top of Mt. Tabor

As you can imagine, this leads to a different sort of play. The lines don’t flow smoothly and sometimes the actors get lost. There is a prompter, like a referee, who gets them (and us) back on track. It feels very improvisational, and is sometimes disjointed. Last summer, we saw some good plays and some that were hard to follow.

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The Price of Admission

The play was performed at the top of Mt. Tabor, just a few miles east of our house. It has lovely views west to the city and east to Mt. Hood, trails for hiking, roads for driving, and stairs to the top. The stairs were a challenge, but it felt good to earn our way into the free play. I took pictures and enjoyed the views, as well as watching the people who came to see the show.

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Downtown Portland from the summit

But the play was hard to follow, even though it was one we all knew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition to the un-rehearsed quality,  all the lovers were played by women. The “he” and “she” pronouns that usually helped keep track of players were gone, and at Intermission many people, including us, decided it was too chilly to try to follow the play, and we all headed back down the mountain and drove home.

Still and all, a lovely evening!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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