You know those “soundscapes” devices that make glorified white noise? You keep them on your desk, or night stand, and they make soothing noises. Some people like to listen to the rain. Or maybe a babbling brook, or birds singing. Whatever relaxes you. What is the sound that you want to hear when you open up the windows and listen?
I have an idea for such a device. I want my device to play … Shakespeare. Performed by children.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing that sound, particularly outside, then hopefully you know just what I’m talking about.
I don’t care if they’re any good. They are children, I do not expect them to be Olivier and Brannagh. If they are good? Outstanding, imagine how good they’ll be when they make a career out of it. If they’re not? Who cares, they’re doing Shakespeare. They don’t fear it. They may actually like it. That is win on so many levels, for so many people, I can’t even begin to count it. Better for the students who don’t drag their feet through the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene but actually actively participate. Better for the parents who get to sit proudly in the audience and watch their kid do Hamlet. Better for the audience who get free Shakespeare with their picnic in the park. Better for the bystanders who walk around the park who get serenaded by Shakespeare on the wind.
Just wanted to get that out there. The one thing that could make it better, that seriously I actually fear to dream? Is one of my kids (or heck, all of them) performing Shakespeare at some point in their lives. I don’t need them to grow up to be actors (oh good god), but even just once I’d love one of them to have a part in a Shakespeare production. I am very afraid that, should that happen, I will explode.