About four hundred and fifty years ago, a baby was born. Not a big deal, right? But this baby grew up into one of the world’s greatest writers, and I, Drama Queen, realized about a week ago that my dear younger siblings just did not have the love of the Bard that should, by rights, be intrinsic to all modern readers. So! What is the best way to get kids interested in anything dusty, musty, or crusty? Associate it with sugar!
And that is what we did.
Saturday night the whole clan stormed Castle Dozen dressed to the nines in Shakespeare get-up. We had Hamlet, Richard III, Two Romeos, Two Queen Catherines, Elizabeth I, Titania, a reluctant Oberon, Cleopatra, and a witch or two. When they arrived, they were sorted into factions: Capulets and Montagues. Papa, in his excellent purple bowtie, became our Prince of Verona and presided most elegantly over our ensuing competition. Of course, the Great Hall was decorated with both skulls and fairy rings – Shakespeare is both adorable and creepy, after all! – and a scrumptious meat-pie was soon served to the clambering guests.
Glutted most contently, the rivaling sides soon fell to a series of intriguing games. They demonstrated skill and strategy in tossing coins for Cherry Pit. Nerves and reflexes were tested in Stool Ball.
An icy rain made Prison Bars a game that only the bravest ventured to wage. The Prince carefully tallied points along the way and between games, young thespians regaled us with the lines they had memorized. (Burrito’s Romeo was very reluctant to kiss his sleeping bride, but the tragic death itself was masterful indeed.)
Young squires and ladies had great enjoyment playing Pin-the-Soap-on-Lady-Macbeth while a witch stealthily taught the teenagers how to play at dice. We paraded our costumes and treasured prizes were then distributed by the fair Prince. Top accolades went to Salsa for his Richard III, Prima Donna for her Elizabeth I, and Bossy’s bird-bedecked Titania.
As the sky grew purple with dusk, Princess – our own Juliet – ensured that there were cool and refreshing Oreo Shakes to toast our departed Playwright. The Capulets won the sweet victory. And my favorite moment of them all occurred as my dear mother recited a sonnet to my father – their affection a true testament of the enduring nature of beauty and love.
Weary, worn, but wealthy with joy, our family departed by twos and eights into the night, reminded of the importance of happiness, and grateful for the knowledge that - just as William’s words have withstood the whipping winds of time – our family shall share the eternities hand in hand in hand..in hand…in hand....