This website is a labor of love for me, a longtime Shakespearean teacher, scholar, and actor. More than that, this site is an attempt to do more than your normal Shakespearean website.
This site is not:
A study guide that will just give you facts about the plot of a Shakespeare play.
An academic dissertation that few people will read and even fewer will understand.
A promotional website for any one company.
This site is:
A love letter to Shakespeare, designed to help students appreciate his work, help teachers engage with their students, and everyone else to remember that this guy’s work is classic, a word I once thought meant, “Something I never want to read.” What I know now is that the word classic means something so powerful and true, that anyone can enjoy it.
My goal for this site
When I was a kid, I was interested in theater and had a longtime fascination with poetry, but the first time I read Shakespeare, it just didn’t stick. I didn’t see the appeal, and I worried that it was because I was incapable of understanding it. Then, suddenly in one amazing summer my parents came back from England and they brought a copy of “The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show,” a hilarious, vaudeville-esque romp through all of Shakespeare’s plays that yank him off the literary pedestal, but do it with love. I was hooked. I realized that if I could understand these condensed, funny versions of Shakespeare, that the whole plays couldn’t be that bad. Now here I am, 10 years later and I’ve read, starred in, worked on, or seen just about every play Shakespeare ever wrote. I’ve won national awards for my ability to communicate Shakespeare to actors and audiences, and now I want to pass that knowledge on to you. I view learning about Shakespeare as like swimming in the ocean- you may be worried about diving in, but at every stage of your journey you can find a rare and wonderful adventure as you read his words and delve deeper and deeper into his world.
How do we do it?
Every week I will post something new, whether it’s a game designed for students, an activity designed for teachers, a review of a Shakespeare movie, or just something funny and random that allows you to see Shakespeare through a satirical lens. Everything I find I will cite and pass on to you. I will direct you to some of the best Shakespeare resources the web has to offer, as well as my own insights. My goal is to help you appreciate Shakespeare as a storyteller, not to make you able to pass a quiz or beat out an iambic pentameter rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, there is merit to all of that, and there are plenty of websites for that purpose, but my focus is on Shakespeare as the storyteller, the poet, and the cultural force who has inspired countless works of art.
Paul Hricik is an actor, singer, poet, playwright, award-winning dramaturg, and filmmaker. He has an MFA in dramaturgy and a Master of Letter in Acting from Mary Baldwin College, where he graduated from the prestigious Shakespeare in Performance Program, in 2011. Paul graduated from Ashland University in 2007, with a B.A. in General Theatre, with a double minor in music and radio/television production. He also received training in voice, movement, and stage combat at the Shakespeare And Co. Summer Training Institute in Lennox MA. As an actor, some of Paul’s favorite roles include Macbeth in Macbeth, Cardinal Woolsey in Henry the Eighth, and Grumio in The Taming Of the Shrew.
In 2006, Paul became a national finalist for the Kennedy Center, American College Theatre Festival dramaturgy award, competing with the top student-dramaturgs in America at the Kennedy Center.As an educator, Paul has designed his own hands-on, on its feet based approach to Shakespeare in the classroom, combining one-on one coaching with multimedia presentations designed to engage the students multiple intelligences. Paul has taught workshops at the Ohio State Thespian Conference, Nelson County Middle School, Floyd County High School, and served as a teaching assistant at both Mary Baldwin College, and OSU Mansfield. Paul has also worked as a theatre camp councilor at the Dumas Theatre Camp in Roanoke Virginia, and the June Bug Kidstock Camp in Floyd Virginia. He has experience working with kids of all ages and many socio-economic backgrounds.