The Dark Lady Sonnet and Upstart Crow

This past week the Montford Park Players put on their play, The Dark Lady Sonnet and the Upstart Crow. This marked their forty-fourth season of performances since 1973.

“There have been hundreds and hundreds of playwrights that are as old or older than Shakespeare,” said Scott Keel, artistic director of the Montford company and director of this playwright, “but there are none performed as much as Shakespeare.”

The play began with a guard stepped onto the small platform looking at the audience, ignoring the pages scattered across the ground. These pages become the physical metaphors of Shakespeares life. Emotions and powerful speeches echo throughout the space as the actors performed.

“Every performance we just go. We tell the story,” said Aaron Marshall, who played Richard Berger, the dear friend of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare has undoubtedly been something all adults and young adults are accustomed to, and at least, know one of his plays. Everyone learns it in the classroom but hardly ever see it live, according to Marshall. 

“One line can be said twenty-seven different ways,” said Trinity Smith, the actress who played Suzanne Shakespeare Hall, “and have a different flow or even change the scene.”

With each performance comes a different new perspective or relevance that the language holds, according to Keel with the agreement of the other Montford Park Players. There are at least 37 different plays written by Shakespeare that the players rotate through. This particular production has been done three times so far. 

“Shakespeare was never meant to be read, but heard,” said Marshall, “To be performed.”