Shakespeare in the Forest

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Perhaps I got a little too excited by the BBC’s Hollow Crown series, since for this week’s post I headed for the liberties with Erik Johnson to act out some Shakespeare in the forest.  My only previous Shakespeare roll was that of a horse in the Taming of the Shrew back in high school, and my lines consisted of galloping sounds made with coconut shells, so it was a bit of a jump in complexity to deliver my own interpretation of the famous monologue the series is named for. 

This video is also an exercise in one of my favorite meditative activities:  Making rock towers.  For as long as I can remember, stacking cairns has been a way to enjoy a location and do a physical activity that clears the mind and hones focus, yet requires nothing more than what I find in my surroundings.  Where do you go, and what do you do to clear your mind and find creative focus?

For the sake of drama, Erik and I gathered some additional props: A white rabbit fur hat for a crown, an umbrella for a scepter, a black bandana for an ascot, and we set out for the green world.  The world we found, however, was not as green or pristine as we had envisioned:  Local trash has apparently taken to using the location as a dump site. Not to be discouraged, we found the litter — everything from bones and abandoned cars to spent shell casings and bags of household rubbish — to be surprisingly fitting for the content of such a dark monologue.  In the comments below, even if you’re not an actor or a theater person, let me know what works, and what doesn’t!

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Erik Johnson going the extra mile to get the shot


Sam Kulla as King Richard II
Directed by Erik Johnson
Written by William Shakespeare
Music by Fryderyk Chopin:  Nocturne in B flat minor, op. 9, no. 1
Filmed on location in the Green World

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Tyrone Biggingsworth
Tyrone Biggingsworth
May 4, 2020 16:43

Cairns are just outdoor graffiti, change my mind.

May 7, 2020 12:23

What an intriguing piece. It made me wish you would discuss mindfulness in term of being creative .

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