Macbeth and Other Tragedies
I just returned from a quick trip to Utah. The three youngest and I drove the 11.4ever hours in a stuffy car through desert and mountain to spend some time with a few of the older offspring. We had a wonderful time--which will be duly blogged about for the sake of posterity shortly hereafter.
But uppermost in my mind is the last evening we spent together.
In advance of the trip, I noticed that the play Macbeth would be performed at UVU as a one night only showing. I actually extended our little vacation by a day so we could attend. I bought tickets for any and all family including one related by marriage and also including a few of my favorite reluctant patrons of the arts who are constantly getting dragged along to culturally uplifting opportunities in spite of themselves.
It just so happens that I teach a Shakespeare class to a rambunctious passle of 12 year old boys. In our efforts to get them interested in being thespians and enjoying the art of the "THEATRE" (please read with a British accent. Thank you.)--we chose Macbeth for our end of year production. It has everything you need to keep the interest of boys that age: witches, ghosts, murder, mayhem, treachery, and war. And our own Shane will be playing the part of Macbeth--thus my eagerness to take him to a live production.
And so, we got ourselves to the theater in plenty of time to find good seats all together. But, I had to leave two tickets at the box office--one for Seth, who was in class and Siara who was working. They were both supposed to finish up and get there by curtain time. But as the minutes ticked closer to start, I got a bit worried that they might not make it. I went out and checked with the usher to see if they would be able to come in a little late. The usher assured me that it would be fine. Seth arrived in plenty of time but we were still waiting for Siara. I went out again and asked about her being able to get in and I overheard the ticket-taker saying that all 'will-call' tickets that hadn't been claimed would be available in a few minutes. That would include Siara's ticket. The play was sold out and the seat we were saving for Siara became a source of consternation to a certain stage manager. While I was in the lobby pleading for the ticket, Shanna was inside fending off the manager who wanted both my seat and Siara's to give to others who were coming in. In the meantime, Siara was texting to let us know her last hair client had been late and that pushed everything back, but she was on her way and would be there soon. tick, tick, tick, Then she let us know she was searching for a parking spot. tick, tick, tick
The play was late tick tick tick in starting by a good 15 minutes which bought us a little time, but she still was not fast enough. When she got to the box office, she was told she couldn't go in. While she was texting that to Shanna, our favorite manager was wagging his scolding eyebrows at us and telling us to move over. He brought in the usurper of Siara's ticket and seated her and then started his introduction by telling everyone they couldn't leave their seats for the entire play.
At that moment I wanted to ring his scrawny little neck, but I refrained. We were sad that Siara couldn't be there with us--and she was too. It was really well done and I got some good ideas for our play. Later, on the long drive home back through the deserts and mountains, I asked myself what more I could have done. I was so annoyed that she missed it by minutes and that they wouldn't even refund my money for the ticket. Here's the scenario that ran through my head:
Just as the Manager of Scolding Eyebrows took the stage to admonish the audience about staying seated, I would run to the stage and in true Shakespeare fashion, deliver a passionate aside:
(I wanted to call it a soliloquy but as a teacher of Shakespeare, I would have to stick with
the more accurate aside as that refers to an actor talking to the audience)
I beg of you please hear my woeful tale!
So sad t'would make even Macbeth's cold heart with mercy swell.
I have traveled to this place from afar,
with three restless youngsters in a stuffy car.
To spend some time with other issue of my womb.
Here in Utah's chill and dampish gloom.
The one hope we had to brighten up our day
Was to come here together and enjoy this play
But, alas, my poor daughter is kept outside the door--
by fiendish ushers--but to you I implore!
I taught my children to be prompt and most polite.
That on society they would never be a blight.
But Siara is a hairdresser and was kept late.
A tardy client with a rat's nest sealed her fate!
So, now that she has had a day that was so hard,
let her join her family to see this creation of the Bard.
Please forgive me for this rather silly drama
For I am nothing, if not first and foremost, a Mama
Don't you think they would have been on my side? Don't you think the bossy-pants stage manager would have unscolded his eyebrows and let Siara in?
If not, I could have shouted:
"A pox on thee--thy bones are marrowless and thy blood is cold!"
To be, or not to be. That is the question.
We will never know--because I didn't think of it in time.
PS The theater where we saw the play is the Noorda theater at UVU.
Did you know that "aorta" rhymes with Noorda?
I have another verse rolling around in my head that would make use of both.
Shakespeare would be proud.
PPS The play was directed by Christopher Clark who is a respected expert on Shakespeare and a rather droll and entertaining writer. You can see here and here.