Cue ominous thunder and lightning. Three witches enter, haggard and all-knowing. They foretell of a violent future. New kings. Betrayal. Death. It’s one of the most scandalous, nail-biting, bloodiest stories ever told. The mere act of reciting its name sends chills down the spines of thespians, who swear it’s cursed. They call it simply, “the Scottish play.”
But the rest of us? Well, we just call it “Macbeth.”
Yes, reading the works of William Shakespeare does not rank high on many people’s Goodreads lists (That’s a social networking site for bookworms. Get with it.) Yes, many people associate them with torturous English classes and pseudo intellectual freshmen at colleges like Smith and Vassar.
But hear me out: There’s little more enthralling than a well-executed Shakespearean monologue. And that whole escape into another realm thing? Totally applies. And although DeSales University seems to have a monopoly on Shakespeare around these here parts, they really don’t.
Ladies and gentleman, enter the Pocono Shakes. This newly formed theatre company is making a bit of a name for itself, and I, for one, would like to thank them for bringing one of my favorite theatrical things to the Lehigh Valley. OK, they’re technically in the Poconos, but I say close enough.
Shakespeare in the Park! No longer just for Manhattanites willing to wait in line. The Pocono Shakes productions may not have Meryl Streep or Patrick Stewart, but they have a lot of heart. And what’s more whimsical than packing a picnic basket with fancy cheese and bread, and spreading out on (and under) a blanket to savor the words of one of the greatest authors of all time?
So shimmy up to East Stroudsburg this weekend, munchies in hand, and watch the Scottish soldier play to win. Bonus points if you can manage to speak in iambic pentameter while you murmur asides to your friends. Double for a Scottish accent. (Try not to sound too much like a pirate.)
Fare thee well, friends! I’ll see ye there.
Escape begins: Daily Sept. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.
Where: David Miller Park, Crystal and Analomink streets, East Stroudsburg.