When my friends and I first came up with the name "Shakesfeare" I thought this idea is just too good ... it probably has been done before. So I Googled it. To my surprise, there was only a definition for the word "Shakes-Fear"(without the 'e'), and it was just a term used to define one's 'fear' to understand Shakespeare.I was even more surprised that my idea of a haunted theatre with scary characters from Shakespeare plays, hasn't been done before. I decided to jump on the idea!
Now that you know what the definition is, I am hoping that "Shakesfeare" will 'cure' you from your 'Shakes-Fear', even though it will be with a horror aspect!
There is one scene in Julius Caesar where Caesar is betrayed by the men he trusted. All of his close friends gang up on him and stab him multiple times until he eventually dies from the loss of blood.
Caesar will obviously be in Ancient Roman attire, toga and all, so that the people in the tour group can identify not only his era, but who he is in general. None of this modernized adaptions from the Shakespeare plays.
What I want to do with this play is reenact the scene where Caesar's so-called "loyal subjects" decide to get out their daggers and stab him... I'm getting ahead of myself here... Obviously the tour guide will take the group near the stage, where this "Julius Caesar Scene" will take place.
At firstThe group of men, that plan on murdering Caesar, will be hiding under the theatre seats as the tour group pass them by.
When the group is in front of the stage, they will see Caesar on his throne acting all noble while giving a speech. Then suddenly the men will quietly come out of their hiding places, huddle around Caesar and stab him.
The tour guide will then take the group away from the stage in a nice orderly fashion, but to their surprise Caesar will be running at them all bloodied up from previous knife wounds, screaming frantically till he drops at the feet of the tour group.
When he is prostrated on the ground, he will attempt to grab at the ankles of the tour group, screaming, "Help me! HELP ME!"
Later Brutus(one of Caesars friends) will come from the darkness, getting ready to pull out a knife from behind. Brutus will then advance towards the fallen Emperor, Caesar will be confused and say, "Et tu Brute?" Brutus finishes the job with one last jab to Caesar's chest, then pulls him away from the tour group.
Last semester for the Shakesfeare project we were thinking of having an extra character in the event. This character was Yorick.
You may not have heard a whole lot about this character, but you've probably seen him briefly in Hamlet... well at least his skull ha. But you probably don't know his back story.
Well, allow me to educate you. Yorick was Hamlet's Court Jester during his youth. I was thinking... Court Jesters are closely associated to another comical character, that for some odd reason, strikes fear into the tender hearts of all ages. Yes, you guessed it. CLOWNS!
If you have seen Hamlet, you may recall a scene where Hamlet and his friend Horatio are at a graveyard talking to a gravedigger, and to their surprise, one of the graves laid "poor Yorick". Hamlet takes the skull of Yorick and contemplates the memories that he shared with the Court Jester.
What I want to try to do is obviously bring Yorick back from the dead as an Undead Court Jester! But instead of the regular clown face paint, I want to make Yorick more scary by making his clown face paint also look like a skull. Much like the The Day of the Dead skull face painting. After all, his skull is one of the memorable icons in Hamlet. I am reminded of a scene from the movie Zombieland where the character Columbus says that he fears clowns more than he fears zombies. But once he was faced with a "zombie-clown" he had to either "Nut-up or Shut up!"
This is what I would like to do with Yorick. I want to have Hamlet be a tour guide with Horatio. They will lead the group to a graveyard(it will be a room full of tombstones and fog). Hamlet will pick up a skull, bring it up to eye level, and say "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, [I knew him!]" I little Buddy the Elf humor for ya! After Hamlet says that, he is then cut off by a disturbing sound from the dark corners of the room. The group will be drawn to the sound, but won't be able to find the source. Little will the group know... Yorick will be on the opposite side from where the sound is coming from. While the group is inching closer to the sound. Yorick will be closing in on them... waiting for the group to finally realize that their greatest fear is right behind them!;)
Here are some ideas of what I would like Yorick to look like:
From the play Titus Andronicus, there is a scene where Titus has Chiron and Demetrius captive. Because of the terrible dismemberment that Chiron and Demetrius did to Titus' daughter Lavinia, Titus chooses to return a favor by saying:
"... Hark, villains. I shall grind your bones to dust, and with your blood
and it I shall make a paste, and of the paste a coffin I will rear and
make two pastries of your shameful heads. And bid that strumpet, your
unhallowed dam, like to the earth, swallow her own increase! This is the
feast I have bid her to, and this the banquet she shall surfeit on...
And now prepare your throats."
From this passage, it takes on a whole new meaning for the term "Revenge is sweet!" What I want to try to do for the next season, is have small servings of either strawberry pie with candy in shapes of human body parts in the pies, or have meat pot pies and add red food dye to the sauce. I'm also planning on serving these "Titus Tarts" after the tour... that is if the students have the stomach for it!;)
The person that will be serving these Titus Tarts will be saying certain puns like:
"Would you like [PIES] with that?"
"How's this for EYE CANDY?"
"This is something you could really sink your TEETH into!"
"C'mon, cat got your TONGUE?"
"Prepare to MEAT your doom!"
"You just got TOE'D!"
"Oh, he's(to the customer) got his(Demetrius or Chiron) EYE on ya!"
"How 'bout a KNUCKLE sandwich?"
"EAR of corn, or EAR of pies?"
"Gotta HAND it to ya. These are great pies!"
"HANDS down these are great pies!"
"Yeah, two THUMBS way up!"
"How 'bout I give you the FINGER!"
"These RIBS are to die for!"
"Dibs on the LIVER!"
"These are FINGER licking good!"
"Made from Demetrius and Chiron themselves!"
"Their BLOOD and SWEAT went into these pies! Literally!"
These puns may be a bit "Tongue-in-cheek" but "Frankly I don't give a HAM!";)
I recently finished watching the movie "The Merchant of Venice" it had Al Pacino in it as Shylock. There was a scene that caught my eye. It was when Shylock was wanting a pound of flesh from Antonio who has failed to reach the requirements for paying the debt of Bassonio. Bassonio owes Shylock money. In short, in the scene Shylock wants to take a pound of Antonio's flesh to cover the debt.
In the play Shylock is is about to take Antonio's flesh from his breast, buthas a change of heart because he couldn't fit the requirements from his contract that he overlooked.
What I want to do is show this scene, as the tour groups are passing by, but right when Shylock is about to cut out Antonio's breast the lights turn off, leaving the group in suspense and wondering if Antonio's flesh was taking. This will make the tour group want to know how it will end by seeing the whole play.