Monday, August 21, 2006

A Family Shakespearience

My family has been going down to the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City ever since I can remember. This was the first year we've gone in several years. There was a stretch of time when I think we went down every summer. We usually went with two other families: The Burtons and the Knibbes. Bob Burton and Robyn Knibbe were childhood friends of my dad's. I remember being too little to actually see a play so all the kids would just go to the "Green Show" and then the parents would take us to the babysitting place. The grown-ups would go to the plays and then pick us up on their way back to the hotel.

At some point we were old enough to stay at the hotel by ourselves so we didn't have to go to the babysitting place. I remember Tyler Knibbe, Matt and Tommy Burton and my brother Carter getting into trouble. Mostly it was Tyler and Tommy. They would throw all the balls from the pool table into the jacuzzi, break the machines in the gym, throw stuff down the elevator shaft. I guess I just followed along and watched. It was a long time ago. I also remember getting bored when all the boys monopolized the cable TV and watched boxing.

Eventually I was old enough to go see a play. I think my first was A Midsummer Night's Dream or Much Ado About Nothing. Not sure. But it was something light. A few years later, I was old enough to go see TWO plays. That was big. I felt grown up and important.

This year I was old enough for my dad to ask that I buy my own tickets. And so I decided to see three plays: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Room Service and Hamlet. I think Hamlet was my favorite. You know what I noticed? People make weird noises. People in the audience I mean. I was very conscious of their noises this year. There's sincere laughter, nervous laughter, "mm hmms" that people say kind of like an "amen" when a character says something profound. And then of course the guy snoring behind me. The nervous laughter can get annoying. Especially during serious scenes in plays such as Hamlet. People are confused and have a difficult time separating comedy from drama. Sometimes Hamlet would say something funny in his frenzied state of madness, but sometimes his madness wasn't funny. I suppose people need to laugh in order to release the tension they feel watching a tormented soul such as Hamlet.

Here is a picture of me and my parents at The Merry Wives of Windsor in the outdoor Adams Theatre.

This year I went up with my parents, my aunt Jill and uncle Lindsay, cousins Katie, Rachel and Patrick and then Kevin and Daniel (friends of Katie and Rachel). It was a fun group.

On Friday we all went up to Cedar Breaks. Very scenic. There was one rock that had a big gap in it. The forest ranger there said 20 years ago the gap was only about 2 inches. So this picture is for posterity. Maybe 20 years from now it will have broken off completely.

On Saturday we went down to Parowan to visit the cemetery where my dad's relatives the Durhams and the Marsdens are buried. His great-great grandfather? Thomas Durham is buried there along with his wives (yes, plural) Caroline and Alice. Although after looking at the dates we started to doubt whether Alice was a wife. Maybe she was a daughter. She was young enough to be a daughter, but then again so was Caroline. But youth wasn't a deterrent when it came to wives back then, so who knows.

In Parowan they also have petroglyphs up on the rocky hills that you can see from the road and even climb up to and even touch if you didn't know better.

This is Katie pointing to a petroglyph. So that's what Parowan means to me: cemeteries and petroglyphs. Cool stuff.

It was a fun trip. A good three-day get away. I hope I can go to the Shakespearean Festival next year. We're really lucky to have such a quality Festival in Utah. Apparently it's the second best in the nation, just below Ashland, Oregon's. I already know which plays I want to see.


Rhett said...

Which plays do you want to see next year?

laura said...

I want to see King Lear, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, Lend me a Tenor. That's probably too many though. Three is good for one trip. Eh, I could see four.

And The Tempest would be cool, but they're doing that in the fall.

dre said...

laura, good plug on the festivals, I really want to go now. but funny story what parowan means to me...traffic school. my buddy got nailed doing 100mph and needed to attend traffic school all the way down there, and had to mail the payment. She had me write the check cuz she only had cash and the total about was close to $600. and we mailed it to the wrong place.

We'll Call her "Lisa" said...

why does everyone look so retarded in that picutre....