Current Events

2013-2014 Season T-Shirt
Contact Jason Via to purchase! Only $10!
Next Meeting
Good Luck with Finals!

Remember Paul D. Soutter
June 28th, 1995-April 13th, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finals Week and the Virtue of "Success"

Here's a little ditty to cheer up your finals week, my brothers in Shakespearean crime.  When you look around in SWEM, you may see stress, fear, tension, and a desperate drive to succeed and please.  It is at times like this, that I look backward in time to William Shakespeare for guidance.

Remember: we know very little about him.

The only reason we revere him is because of a few plays that were preserved in an accident of history. Shakespeare himself didn't seem too concerned with posterity knowing about him.  He didn't supervise the publication of his plays as quartos (evinced by the redunkulous misprints) and didn't publish some at all (like Macbeth).  His buddies, Condell and Heminge, published the First Folio without Will's prompting, knowledge, or help (he was dead at the time).

Even then, he wasn't the greatest of all Elizabethan playwrights.  Marlowe, arguably, reached an artistic maturity before Shakespeare.  When our Billy Shakes was writing Two Gents and the Henry VI trilogy, Marlow was writing Tamburlaine and the Jew of Malta.

 Had Marlowe not died as young as he did, who knows where his career would have gone? Maybe Shakespeare wouldn't be the uncontested "great" of the Elizabethan drama outpouring.

The point is, Shakespeare's "greatness" hinged on a lot of weird factors outside of his control.

Yes, he is smooth and sexy.  Yes, he is bold and crass.  Yes, he has a way with words, words words.  Yes, he is indelibly integrated into almost everything written in the English language. But it might have been otherwise.  And this does not negate his brilliance.

Shakespeare could have been the most brilliant English writer that the world never knew about.  Enjoyed only by the dirty and dying rabble living south of the Thames.

Maybe no one will know or care about who we are and what we did here at W&M.  Maybe no one will remember our shows.

But I think our shows are ballsy, innovative, and in the spirit of true Elizabethan theater (slightly ratchet and damn good fun).

Keep creating.  Do what makes you quiver with excitement and sputter inarticulately with joy.
Yes, study and work.  But "succeeding" isn't always as indispensable as we think

Remember, even Shakespeare produced shitty work from time to time.

Monday, April 27, 2015

2015-2016 Officers Elected

Welcome to the NEW Shakespeare in the Dark Officers!

President- Molly Earner
Vice President- Zach Hurst
Secretary- Kat Knoerl
Treasurer- Isabel Steven
Historian/Webmaster- Isabelle Baucum
Publicity- Max Sorger

They are beauty. They are grace. They are Miss United States. And I cannot wait to spend next year with them.  Thank you to the retiring (and returning) executive members of the 2014-2015 school year: 

Supreme Commander (President)- Jason Via
Wannabe Overlord (Vice President)- Paul Soutter
Keeper of Keys/Minutes and Sanity (Secretary)- Kat Knoerl
DAS MONEE Pimp (Treasurer)- Bethany Bennett
Ehh (Historian/Webmaster)- *me*
Queen Bee of Socialness (Social)- Zach Hurst
Grand Poster Maker/Word Spreader (Publicity)- Max Sorger/Molly Earner

We did a great job. I love us. 
We are beautiful.  We are fierce.  We are SitD.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Buzzfeed Article: Kanye and Caesar/Cleopatra

This is just for fun. Hope it brings a smile dear viewers. I hope that this inspires some of you to consider Antony and Cleopatra for next's really hot.

Kanye West Lyrics Perfectly Describe The Story of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update about SitD Exec Elections

Statements of Intent are due by midnight Friday (4/24). This should include the position you are running for and a brief rationale of your qualifications. Please email them to .  Elections will be held on Monday (4/27). Time and location TBA.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Our theatre community at The College of William and Mary suffered a loss this week.  The next few days will be dedicated to remembering Paul Soutter. He was a fine ass Poins, a little shit of a Malcolm, a fierce Earl of Douglas, a bloodthirsty Murderer Number 2, and (ever adaptable as an actor) Gower, Ely, and Bardolph all at once.  The list of your contributions to SitD and William and Mary are too long to recount here. We will all miss the astounding actor, technician, club officer, and (most importantly) friend that you were. 
Rest easy friend. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Voting Meeting Coming Up

On April 17th, Shakespeare in the Dark will hold elections for next academic year's executive board.  I encourage you all to glance at the Constitution to see a description of the board positions. A link to the Constitution can be found on the side bar.

Consider contributing your time and talents to this club so that we can continue bringing quality student produced theater to William & Mary!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cymbeline Review

Cymbeline Review
by Jason Via

Michael Almereyda’s movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline hit theaters this past weekend in a limited release. Cymbeline involves the only daughter of a tyrannical king marrying against his wishes. The low-born husband is banished, and one of his friends makes a competitive little bet, which leads to misery for almost everyone involved. Unfortunately, the movie adaptation disappoints the avid Shakespearean.

Almereyda’s modernization sets the characters in a biker gang named the “Britons”, led by the ruthless Ed Harris (as the eponymous character), in a small-town “Rome”. The setting transplant was rather transparent, and could have easily gone with other names. After some lengthy text exposition, the movie begins at the end, with shots of each of the main characters in the climactic moments of their arcs, and then returns to the beginning.

Much of the lackluster feel of this adaptation resides in the editing and direction. The script is cut in odd places, so that the audience only scrapes along with the surface plot, but fails to engage in the depth of the characters or their rich emotionality. Instead, their decisions seem impulsive and almost implausible because their motivations remain murky. They act as shallow caricatures, and many decisions go unexplained.

Another critical choice was the pacing and energy. The movie refused to settle into one scene, instead jumping at breakneck speed to other characters. It attempted to evoke a moody, brooding sort of tragic romance (the sort a pre-teen entering middle school might enjoy), which was quite contrary to the source material, and even its own marketing, which attempted to sell the movie as a thrilling crime drama.

It had the feel of a film trying to be too “artistic”, particularly when characters would do nonsensical actions, like Anton Yelchin’s Cloten, who dumps a trashbag of Hershey kisses onto the table during a high stakes negotiation. Sadly, he and many of the other good actors are wasted and lost in the attempt to satisfy some Oscar-winning fantasy. Often the actors are blank, and devoid of emotional expression, which leeches the lifeblood out of what is truly a story of high passion. Combined with the miserable pacing, the audience-goer feels devoid of stakes or investment in the shallow characters, feeling as blank as the male protagonist’s constant expression.

Penn Badgley portrays a skater Posthumus more emotionally flat than concrete – disturbingly, this is an accurate representation of how adolescent boys are taught to control their emotions, rather than expressing them. So in a sense, it’s a win for post-modern accuracy, just a loss for the viewer.
In a true blow, the movie cuts portions of both Imogen’s and the Queen’s speeches and scenes, robbing the audience of some of the best parts of the play. No, this is an adaptation for the patriarchy, in which all the conflict and solution is derived from the male characters.

Hamstrung by pacing and editing, this would-be lost gem of Shakespeare’s canon falters as it leaves the gate, and the audience is forced to watch it limp over the finish line.