By Summer Tour cast member Brooks Lindberg:
Anything needing to have been said of Shakespeare has been done already. You can follow all the letters of the world trying to understand him, disprove him, debate on the chronological order of his works... but that’s all noise and you can’t find or say anything that hasn’t been put forth already.
The rest of this reading then is selfish in that it deals primarily with me. Memories, like art, are meant most for those who create them. What I offer in the following is what Shakespeare means to me and a little rant at the end.
Twelve years old. My back is stained in purples and reds. I’m half way up a slot canyon being drained by the sun of my color about two miles outside of town all because my Grandma told me: “I think you could play a better Hamlet than James Dean.” I think she’s full of it, because Dean is near perfect but I don’t know who Hamlet is so I burn on and on, reading Caesar then MacBeth and then as shade forms in the crag I finish Hamlet.
Thirteen. My father’s sent me a letter full of lines and quotes from thinkers and writers that he won’t give parentheses to, because he wants to be them. He says, “to thine own self be true.” I know the line and the rest of the speech. I’ve been Polonius for my brother many times. I’ve bled with Laerates and I weep with Horatio for Hamlet in that silence after midnights.
Fourteen... eighteen and every year between... then on nights where I come home from college... my youngest sister half dreaming asks me while I am on her floor, “say that... ah?.. ‘honor’ speech?” and I’ll start with “my gentle Romans” and finish on “...this was a man.” She’s sleeping and I close her bedroom door and say “I love you.” And sometimes King Lear walks to his bedroom.
A young boy told me once that he had seen Hamlet. I figured there’s no way he got any of it. So I asked him what Hamlet is about. He said, “It’s about family.”
Another time I saw a gentleman get up just before the assassination in a production of Julius Caesar and say: “...ah ta hell with it.”
As a rule, I generally don’t know a lot... but when I think Shakespeare and I get away from my memories two things come to mind. One: the only preparation you need to do before you see a Shakespeare show is have a heart. The rest is taken care of because Shakespeare invented that part of it that causes it to pulse. Two: we’re nothing more than a collection of words, but we only have words after something has happened. We stub our toe and then curse. We bight down on the apple and then think “sweet.” We feel the burning sand in our eyes and then yawn “I’m tired.” If we are going to be filled up and be riddled by words, like characters in a text, then we best choose wisely. Our life is ink and we are given a page. Fill it up “too well.”
About Brooks Lindberg
This is Brooks’ first show with Grassroots Shakespeare. Brooks has been acting and directing for several years in places such as Snow College, various theatres in Salt Lake and everything else between Cache and Sevier County. He is a rebel and is pleased to be performing! He thanks his family, teachers und sein Lieblings.