You take your seat just as the lights go down. The curtain rises, and all at once you are transported to a miraculous foreign land: The battlements of Elsinore castle. A beach in Illyria. A blasted heath in Scotland. A canal in Venice. A throne room in Sicilia, or Athens, or Egypt. A street in Rome, or Verona, or Ephesus, or anywhere in all the globe.
You're suddenly confronted by vile witches & hungry warlords, ambitious kings & vengeful ghosts, shipwrecked maidens & jealous princes. The people around you speak in words that have a familiar feel, a roiling and beautiful language that cuts right to the heart of human experience.
Phrases pour out, filling your ear. Not just the famous words quoted in schools, but words invented for this very stage:
Love is blind. Hush.
Vanish into thin air. Break the ice. Foul play. What's done is done. Come what may. Too much of a good thing. The jaws of death. Brave new world.
You laugh, all at a part of the story, rising and falling with the fortunes of the most complete characters ever to grace the stage:
Falstaff & Hal. Caesar & Brutus. Viola & Olivia. Romeo & Juliet. Othello & Iago. Kate & Petruchio. Macbeth. Richard. Hamlet.
Too soon it's over, the story told. You look down at the ticket in your hand, the portal to this realm of swords and words.
A ticket to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.
In Michigan, this is Pure Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's plays survive & thrive because of his language, his expression of humanity's light, darkness, & the foibles in-between.
Under the guidance of award-winning Artistic Director Janice L Blixt, the MSF brings that language to life before your eyes.
As the Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival is a professional Equity theatre company (LOA/LORT) dedicated to producing world-class classical plays. Now in preparation for our 25th Anniversary Season, we perform in Jackson's lovely Baughman Theatre and in Canton's beautiful Village Theatre of Cherry Hill.