Institutions and Evil

What do we do when we believe that people we disagree with are not only misguided, but evil, and a threat to our society, values, or even the world? If we believe that the depth of the threat excuses actions we would otherwise condemn (e.g., violence, humiliation, theft, separation of families), we are confronted with…

July 2019 Stage Combat Opportunities

I’m teaching two stage combat workshops this month: 1. Moving like a Master: Brief intro/review of the basic attacks and parries with a sword, learn a simple sequence, then work on how to add physicality and nuances that convey different levels of skill/background. No experience necessary, some prior exposure to stage combat and familiarity with…

Weapons in Shakespeare: 2019

To promote this summer’s Ithaca Shakespeare shows, I wrote the following piece trying to share some context on the weapons we use on stage.   One of the innovations of Renaissance drama was the recognition that scenes of physical conflict can convey a character’s virtues, foibles, or identity more vividly than words alone. In ancient…

The Pitfalls of Pericles

The tournament in this summer’s production of  Pericles may be the most complicated choreography we’ve done in our years of choreographing fights for Ithaca Shakespeare Company. While the text doesn’t even require the tournament to take place on stage, Director Steve Ponton always loves to give the audience a good fight, and we’re happy to…

Interlude: In Defense of Books

Three years ago I set out to read one book from every aisle in the stacks of Cornell University’s Olin library. 60 books later (and nearly halfway through the third floor) I am certain that I would not have requested or sought out more than two of those books from other libraries, but I am…

Power and Identity

Project status update: I realized I’ve been doing this reading project for over three years; I’ve read 60 books, done write-ups on 13, and am over halfway through one side of one floor of the library. At this rate it would take me another 40 years. Time to pick up the pace. Yvonne Chireau’s Black…