Halloween 2017: William Shakespeare

Posted by jdg | Thursday, November 02, 2017

I asked my daughter to write her own explanation of why she wanted to be William Shakespeare for Halloween.

"When I went to camp last summer, I chose Shakespeare as my minor. Not because I was already interested in Shakespeare, though, but because I enjoy acting in plays and I thought I would get to act. And at first, I did not like the class much because we spent so much time talking about Shakespeare and not enough time acting. But as the week went by, I found myself becoming more and more interested in the actual Shakespeare as a writer and poet. And by the time I left camp, I had memorized an entire scene from Hamlet and performed it in a real Shakespeare theater modeled on the original Globe! After camp, I became very interested in Shakespeare and his times. We have gone to several performances in Michigan, and even went to the Stratford Festival in Canada and my dad and I saw a real company perform Twelfth Night, which is probably my favorite. I really like the confusion about Viola and her brother but my favorite character is Sir Toby Belch. I also love it when Malvolio wears the yellow socks. I have seen performances of A Midsummer's Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet as well. I liked being Shakespeare because it is so amazing how many phrases he came up with and how timeless and interesting his stories and characters were."  

I went through three sewing machines making this one, and watched a lot of episodes of The Tudors waiting for King Henry VIII to get fat and eat a turkey leg. I swear Skinny Henry and Superman never wear the same doublet twice. I usually hate movies about royalty but I needed inspiration. I used some floral upholstery fabric that we've had for a decade, and it sure seemed destined to end up in a Tudor-era doublet and cape; for the accents I used some thin gold pigskin I have been hoarding for years. The bald pate is leather and the hair, mustache and beard are all felted alpaca wool. This was a real challenge for me and sewing machines are well outside my comfort zone, but I enjoyed working on this and it should fit her for some time, maybe for a future performance as Viola? (I did buy her yellow tights, too).