Staying Inspired Through the Arts

Hey everyone,

I can’t believe we’re halfway through February! I’m now acquainted with my syllabi, getting through some small essays and response papers, and preparing for midterms to appear in a few weeks. Plus, my study abroad friends are sending me postcards from the latest European cities they’re visiting, and I’ve recently got engaged! Wow, lots of big things happening.

Anyhoo, this semester I’m taking Shakespeare 418 to complete a requirement in my major, and it can be a difficult class if you’re not familiar with deciphering Old English translations or puns. I don’t think most students enjoyed Shakespeare in high school, since we’re experiencing a language that just doesn’t connect with us that well in today’s world. However, this class is focused on the aesthetics of performance in Shakespearean plays, such as stage direction and lighting, as well as focusing on other intriguing tropes like gender, class, and diction in plays. I’m not too keen on Shakespearean works to be honest, but it’s a class that’s going to help me recognize some of the classical works of Shakespeare and understand the uniqueness of the time. Plus, it’s on the to-read list of many writers.

One of the interesting class requirements is to go out and experience a Shakespeare play throughout the C-U area and draw upon connections to the texts we’re reading in class. There are performances done by Parkland College, local venues, and, of course, one of my favorite places to catch a show, the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts.

I just got tickets to see the opera version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a romantic comedy, next Saturday with my fiancé. It’s fascinating and pretty neat to know that as Illinois students we’re able to see a show in Champaign for $10 that would normally cost you around $160 to see elsewhere (such as the Shakespearean Theatre in Chicago’s Navy Pier). I’m not a huge fan of operas, but there’s much to be learned as a writer, reader, and student in a Shakespeare English class. I’ll have to let you know what I think of the opera next time.

Let’s have a great week!

Jenny

Jenny

Class of 2016
I'm majoring in Creative Writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I'm from the north side of Chicago, an artsy neighborhood along the lakefront called Andersonville. I plan to pursue a low-residency MFA program in Fiction Writing with the hope of becoming a published author.