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Family in Ashland

September 13, 2005

Shakespeare twice in less than a month! Oh I’m going to be very spoiled if this keeps up. I traveled down to Ashland, OR to visit my cousin Samantha along with my Aunt Sue and Uncle Harry. My Aunt and Uncle picked me up on Friday afternoon and we drove down to Ashland. This is a part of my family that I haven’t had a chance to get to know, so not only was I going to a new place, but I was hanging out with new people.

We stayed in my cousin’s very cute fairly large studio apartment. However, even though it is a large studio, it is still a studio. She has a beautiful dog, Scout, that made me want a dog more than ever. We just spent some time together on Friday night talking and watching a movie. Saturday night Sam had a wine and cheese party and Sunday we went to Love’s Labors Lost.

The wine and cheese party was full of fun and good food. She had some amazing cheeses, that I can’t quite remember what they were, but I’m going to try desperately to find. We also had green olives, salami, bread, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts…. Everything was so tasty and after I was full I didn’t want to stop eating, and for me that is saying something. After we had our munchies we went out to a few bars. We were all dressed up in beautiful dresses and wanted to show off our good looks.

The next evening my Aunt and Uncle went to the Tony Bennett concert at the Britt Festival. Sam and I went to the Shakespeare Festival to see Love’s Labors Lost. I had never read or seen this play and I found it to be one more unique than most of Shakespeare’s comedies. This particular play isn’t the kind that has lots of mix ups with names and identities. Most of the time a comedy is about making impossible situations that seem like they will never get put back to right. Then at the end magically everything turns out okay. Instead Love’s Labors Lost seemed to hold some more serious themes and less confusion. At first the men have vowed to only use their time towards study and not to court women. As soon as they have made this vow four beautiful women, who they have met previously, show up to test the vow. The women come with the specific intent to win hearts, but as soon as the hearts are won they keep their distance by playing games the doting men. Could this be Shakespeare’s comment on how silly playing games with the heart can be? It also doesn’t end with the typical everything has worked itself out ending. The budding relationships are not granted instant gratification, but instead are required to go through a test of distance and time.

There were some very hysterical parts to the play, specifically when the men dress up as Russians. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is great and the venue was wonderful. There are several stages but we were at the Elizabethan Stage. It is a beautiful outdoor stage that helped make the experience more like being at The Globe. I now have a few Shakespeare plays I need to read to get a better understanding of their plot. Hopefully this will temporarily satisfy my Shakespeare craving until there is another play to attend.

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