The Folger Spotlight

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A Mythic Realm in the Shakespeare Cosmos

I’m Danny Scheie, and I play Grumio in Folger Theatre’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

As a tiny Shakespeare nerd in the wilds of the Prairie State, I repeatedly encountered mention of the faraway Folger Shakespeare Library, uttered in hushed tones of reverent provincial and parochial bardolatry from spinster schoolmarms, sweat breaking out on their peach-fuzzed upper lips as they tried to explain away the gender dysphoria, bisexual panic, and interracial menage-a-trois in sonnets twenty and one-hundred-forty-four. We would look at tiny photos of tiny models of the Elizabethan theater at the Folger and then photos of the actual theater, the theater in which I am currently rehearsing. The consciousness of this stage (much like the sites of Jerusalem known to be politically real and yet upon first encountering them after years of brightly colored biblical maps and Sunday School felt boards one is surprised they actually exist) is in a mythic realm with the Globe of Shoreditch and the swans of Stratford-upon-Avon. The building itself is a dense collection of protons in the atom of the Shakespeare cosmos and it is a mind-cramping thrill to be here.

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