Shakespeare & Spenser Told Us Long Ago Life’s a Beach

Critical guides to complex literary works can be great resources, doing the dirty work of identifying themes and trends for us.  It can be arguably more rewarding, however, to make connections on our own.  Even if they’re as simple as the one I made a few weeks back (and have been meaning to share) between … Continue reading

Let’s Talk about Titus Andronicus

I’ve just finished reading for the first time Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s first tragedy and one of his earliest plays–scholars date its composition to circa 1589-1592, and the first Quarto version of it was printed in 1594.  The play’s style is very much in keeping with a subgenre of plays popular in the 1580’s, known as … Continue reading

Sir Phillip Sidney on Writer’s Block, Renaissance Style

In sonnet one of Astrophil and Stella (1591) by sixteenth-century courtier and author, Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), the poem’s speaker (Astrophil) struggles for ‘fit words’ to convey his heartache to his lover.  In the closing couplet, the speaker’s muse weighs in with sound advice for anyone with writer’s block, particularly anyone feeling constrained by conventions or the … Continue reading

Auditions for Thinking Cap’s Upcoming Production of S/HE

The website for Thinking Cap is under construction and will be launched very soon. Until then, see below for audition information regarding Thinking Cap’s next dramatic adventure. Casting Notice for S/HE Written by Nick Mwaluko Directed by Nicole Stodard Thinking Cap Productions, a new company dedicated to experimental and socially conscious work, seeks bold and … Continue reading

Deadly Dramatist & Pugnacious Poet: Ben Jonson

In spite of the fact that in modern times Ben Jonson has been overshadowed by Shakespeare, Jonson enjoyed tremendous success as a writer in his own era.  He rather quickly worked his way from bricklayer to soldier to actor to author with a royal pension.  In fact, many identify Jonson as England’s 1st poet laureate, though … Continue reading

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