shakespeare retellings

Things I want from a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet:

- Everyone is dressed in traditional costuming, but the script is in modern English.
- “Romeo, Romeo, why the FUCK did you have to be ROMEO?”
- Juliet talks like a rich white valley girl and wears a flower crown.
- She keeps taking inappropriately timed selfies and posting them on instagram.
- Tybalt won’t stop talking about his crossfit regime.
- Romeo only listens to My Chemical Romance.
- Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech is followed by Benvolio asking “Are you high right now?” (He is)
- Mercutio dabs on stage. Unironically. More than once.
- When the boys are all catcalling Nurse it’s super cringy.
- instead of “a sail! A sail!” You get “Hey Fatass!” “Fatass? I just see a boat!” “Weigh anchor! You’re gonna break the docks, Fatass!”
- Tybalt also dabs on stage, exactly twice.
- The first time is awful and his friends have to correct him.
- Tybalt dabs at Mercutio and Mercutio responds by doing a backflip and ending in a dab.
- The Tybalt/Mercutio fight is an absolutely serious dancebattle with no weapons.
- Mercutio still dies anyway.
- Tybalt tries to dance battle Romeo too, but Romeo keeps taking it too seriously and not dancing back.
- This is because Romeo only knows how to ballroom dance.
- Paris wears a trillby and calls it a fedora.
- Juliet Snapchats her own death.
- Romeo doesn’t have Snapchat.


Iain Glen in “Beautiful Devils” - Part 2…

“Iain Glen (Resident Evil, Game of Thrones) as Darcy’s doting father caught between protecting his daughter and fear of driving her away is sublimely written and performed. Glen’s sensitivity in expressing the helplessness the father feels mingled with the longing to be close to his daughter is faultless. Glen does not take up much screen time but the impression he makes in the emotional stakes of this tale shouldn’t be underestimated. It is he we feel most deeply for as the curtain closes. —Radio Times

On the list of things that could be gayer:

Twelfth Night, okay?..  The Shakespeare play.  Because seriously, this thing could be amazing, it’s a goldmine as it is, and I have a mighty fucking need.  

Because picture this: 

As she performs her duties to the duke, Viola goes and does the classic fanfic move of “flirt w person on behalf of someone else, fall in love yourself” and begins seriously crushing on Olivia – who, of course, is clearly in love with “Cesario” but Viola is sure that she wouldn’t be interested if she knew she’s a girl – but does that matter?..  Not really.  It’s a romance story, and every time she comes by to woo Olivia, it’s a little bit more sincere.  

Which, naturally, is all kinds of heart-wrenching and comedy at the same time.  It’s Shakespeare, after all.  It can be both.    

Meanwhile Orsino/Viola bathtub scene could be something else, like them talking about Olivia and it becomes clear to the audience that Viola’s the one who actually is in love with her, while Orsino admits to having gotten over it for a while now, but holding on to the crush because of a relatable fear of never finding love and dying alone.  Which everybody in the audience can understand.  

The plot gets a bit complicated from then on, new characters are added, but the arc with Toby, Andrew, Maria and Malvolio can go on uninhibited under Feste’s amused supervision.  

The real problem is when Sebastian shows up.  

What I suppose should occur is this:

During the final action sequence, Viola gets rescued by Antonio as it’s supposed to happen, and Sebastian kicks Toby and Andrew’s asses (as it is also supposed to happen) BUT then he leaves to find the Duke’s house and Toby and Andrew find Viola near Olivia’s place instead so she gets rescued again, by Olivia

And dang Olivia looks so badass and she’s literally asking “Cesario” to marry her so Viola kinda gives up and rolls with it despite knowing better and wedding goes on

So when the whole reveal thing goes down at Orsino’s place, there’s just a very confused Sebastian like “wait HUSBAND what no who are you lady” because Olivia mistakes him for Viola and then the guards bring in a fuming Antonio and the duke is kinda pissed, kinda confused, and then Viola shows up and everyone goes through the double take

The twins reunite

Olivia is actually hella bi, much like Orsino is in the original so she’s perfectly fine with having a wife instead of a husband.  Because she’s in love with Viola.  No matter who she is, because she is still the same person – the only one who helped her forget her grief, and want to truly live again.  

Sebastian, in this version, can see what’s right in front of him, and confesses to Antonio (seriously if it’s a guy in Shakespeare and his name ends with -io he’s gay), while assuring him that he doesn’t even know Olivia.  It’s something romantic and dramatic a la original Orsino like “her wedded husband i could never be – for while i breathe, my heart belongs to thee”

Orsino is kinda miffed at not being included in all the romance but hey, he’s got friends (which is just as important as romantic love), and he’s inspired by this whole mess, so off he goes writing poetry.  He also decides to pardon Antonio in the midst of this mess – the duke is a shithead, but not a bad person really.  And he’s a poet, too.  No way he’ll interfere with true love.  

Two weddings grace the household.  The weirdos who attend are pretty much family by the end of this – they’re bonded by this story in ways they couldn’t have imagines.  There’s still some hilarity, of course.  A pissed Malvolio plans the seating list to position himself in a perfect spot to chuck paper clips into Toby’s wineglass, etc.  

Feste sings at the end – and you get the feeling that the guy knew everything that was going on, with the “hey, ho, the wind and the rain.”  In fact, he probably looks at the audience like it’s the camera on The Office, every time something dumb happens.  

Nobody loses.  Everybody’s happy.  And it’s very, very gay.  

The end.   

sapphicophelia  asked:

Also,are there any queer girls book that is shakespeare adaption or has shakespeare taste???? Thanks! (It is a weird ask but i need to knoooow)

Aaaaah, OMG, this is the best ask! *is the hugest Shakespeare nerd* 

Unfortunately I don’t really have much for you, which is really sad because there is so much potential for queer Shakespeare retellings. Most of these I haven’t read either, so I can’t give you my personal recommendations. I asked the people in the fab YA LGBT Book Goodreads group for help.

Rosemary and Juliet by Judy Maclean

robintalley has a new book coming out in 2016 called As I Descended which is a re-telling of Macbeth. (I AM SO EXCITED.) You can learn more about it here.

And I’m going to rec some adaptations of other classics as well:

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block (The Odyssey)

Great by Sara Benincasa (The Great Gatsby)

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer (The Myth of Persephone)

Seven: A Lesbian Snow White by Jennifer Diemer

And of course Ash by Malinda Lo (Cinderella)

Lastly, I know you’re looking for books, but I’d also like to recommend Nothing Much to Do which is a vlog re-telling of Much Ado About Nothing, much like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. And while it doesn’t have any queer girls, there are some queer guys, and in their recently confirmed second season Lovely Little Losers (aka Love’s Labour’s Lost), it looks like Costard and Jaqunetta will be re-imagined as queer girls.

SO. I hope this helps! I’m really sorry we didn’t have anything else. If you want to expand on “Shakespeare taste” I might be able to help you there. But seriously, queer Shakespeare re-tellings are now on my wishlist for queer YA— I need this in my life.



Book: Vinegar Girl

Author: Anne Tyler

Rating: 5*

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work - her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost. 

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying - as usual - on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

So I read this book as part of @books-and-cookies readathon I was doing last weekend. I spent all day Sunday reading, and Vinegar Girl was the third book I picked up and finished that day. 

Vinegar Girl is an interesting, funny, and erudite retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew released by the Hogarth Press along with a series of other retellings of Shakespeare by award winning contemporary novelists as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations in 2016. I was pretty interested in the whole concept of this project from the start, and Vinegar Girl was short, accessible, and based on one of Shakespeare’s comedy, so I opted to buy that instead of, say, Hagseed by Margaret Atwood (although after reading this, Hagseed is firmly on my TBR). 

As for the book itself, from the beginning those familiar with Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew will spot the characters and the clever things that Tyler does with them. For the non-Shakespeare aficionado however, this is just a rollicking good rom-com with some seriously touching scenes between father and daughter, outsider and insider, man and woman. The character of Kate is one maybe I don’t immediately identify with on a personal level, I’m a fairly warm person and I don’t struggle with tact or interpersonal skills, although our inner monologues perhaps have a degree of overlap, but she is a sympathetic and likeable character. I may not see myself in her, but I would like to be her friend. Tyler’s weaving of the marriage plot into the 21st century is also interesting to watch and extremely believable- no small feat, I think, when adapting Shakespeare to our times. 

I loved the dynamic between the characters in this book. I loved the funny moments. I loved the poignant and touching scenes. I felt it was true to the play, and although perhaps it doesn’t have an ending everyone will be satisfied with, I felt the conclusion to be satisfactory. 

Vinegar Girl takes a long hard look at what it means to be single, without a dream career, without a degree, as a woman on the cusp of 30 in the 21st century, and it examines how how we feel about that might be more a reflection of us, than of the gardening, straight-talking, head of household women like Kate.

5 stars :)

heccing  asked:

A post you made a little while back said you where tossing around some ideas for new series!! Can you share anything or is it top secret?

Hi there!

There’s been considerable talk about a regency space opera with romance, political intrigue, and robust worldbuilding. Alex has a lot of ideas for it, but production on that won’t start until the Procyon show she’s currently working on wraps up its second season.

A while back, we were all tossing around ideas for series to develop in the distant future…and then we kept tossing around ideas, until ideas were flying in all directions, and when the barrage died down and the smoke finally cleared, we came out of our collective fugue state with a 6-page Google document proposing–no joke–nineteen different show concepts.

These ranged across a variety of genres, from historical fiction mystery/ thriller, to historical romance ft marriage of convenience, to fantasy, to urban fantasy, to urban fantasy in space, to shakespeare retelling (in space). to low-fi musical, to magical realism, to parallel universe sci-fi, to an upstairs/downstairs thing set in a modern restaurant, to a behind-the-scenes-podcast for a TV show that doesn’t actually exist, to conspiracy theory satire, to “Chinese funeral home death god slice-of-life" and keep in mind I’m leaving a lot out.

And the thing is, each member of Procyon has their own precious babies on that list, but I think all of us also would love to see any of those shows realized. At the same time, we are trying not to fall too deep down the rabbit hole right now, before any of us have even completed our first season. And we need to stay realistic about where we’re at, in terms of finances, resources, time, and emotional energy. Podcasting is a marathon and not a sprint, &c &c.

As far as getting hyped for new Procyon shows in the not-so-distant future, hey, have you heard of an awesome upcoming dark sci-fi/mystery/horror podcast called Station to Station? Because you can listen to multiple teaser trailers here and I am pretty psyched about it!


vichappens  asked:

Many people have given ratings on the song of achilles regarding it's accuracy and possible 'mischaracterization', how do you feel about that?

As a Classicist and a teacher, I love to hear that it’s sparking debate!  I also love that people feel attached enough to these stories that they want to see them done “right,” ie, the way they imagine it!   

The truth is, that there is no “right” version of a myth–they live by retelling. Almost as soon as the Iliad and Odyssey were composed, they were being retold, recast, reimagined, and changed.  There are so many different versions of these stories–and that’s only the fraction that have survived.  There were thousands upon thousands.  I wanted to write back to the Iliad, but never to replicate it.  I drew on lots of different versions of these stories from lots of different eras–the figure of Pyrrhus was inspired by the Aeneid, and Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare amazing retelling (so dark and angry and funny), also was an inspiration.

So even though Homer’s poems were my bedrock, I definitely felt free to make changes, and some of those were some of the best choices I made.  Not because the Iliad was wrong in any way, but because the changes worked best for my particular story.  For instance, I’m thinking of Briseis–who became a pillar of the last part of the book for me.  In the Iliad she has a much more circumscribed role, and she’s also a princess.  But I wanted to hear from a farmer’s daughter–someone who was pure collateral damage in this war. She has a fierce intellect, and Patroclus comes to value and admire her immensely.


Asexuals in Writing

Lyssa Chiavari is an author of speculative fiction for children and teens, including the upcoming FOURTH WORLD trilogy, a young adult sci-fi adventure set on Mars. She has also written several pieces of short fiction, and is the editor of PERCHANCE TO DREAM, a young adult collection of Shakespeare retellings. Lyssa lives with her family and way too many animals in the woods of Northwest Oregon, which suits her just fine; except it actually doesn’t rain there as much as you’ve been told, and she really could do with more rain, thanks.

Both of those sound awesome to me, but let’s get to our very first asexuals in writing feature interview!

What do you identify as?

I identify as asexual and gray-biromantic.

Who is asexual in your story and how do they identify?

My upcoming YA trilogy (the first book, Fourth World, is due to release this fall) is told in alternating perspective between a boy named Isaak, who’s one of the first generation of kids to be born on Mars after it’s colonized by people from Earth, and a girl named Nadin. One of Nadin’s major storylines across the three books is realizing that she is asexual—that it’s a thing, that she’s not broken, and that it’s normal for her to feel the way she does. Along the way, she forges a connection with Isaak, who is demisexual. Of course, there are lots of other adventures in store for them (it is Mars, after all), but it was important for me to include characters like myself, because representation of aces is so rare, especially in young adult fiction, where most people can only name one or two major examples.

Even though Fourth World is the one that deals most prominently with discovering one’s identity and asexuality as a label, most of my stories feature ace and/or aro characters and storylines. For example, I edited a YA anthology of Shakespeare adaptations called Perchance to Dream, which releases at the end of June, and my own story in the book, a retelling of The Tempest, includes a queerplatonic relationship between my two heroines. I have also written a few other short stories that are currently out on submission with ace protagonists. Being ace (and bi, and gray-romantic) is such a major part of my existence, and I decided awhile ago that I wanted to write what was true to myself, rather than just focusing on what other people expected. I feel like my writing has improved since, so I’m definitely happy with that choice.

What did you want to get right about your representation?

The most important thing to me is to write stories that feel “true” to me. Some of my stories, like Fourth World, include a “coming out” subplot; but most of them, the characters just are, and it’s totally fine for them and everyone else. I absolutely think that “coming out” stories are important, but it’s also beneficial to me to have stories where people are just themselves and it’s a thing that’s normal. I spent so much of my life thinking something was wrong with me. I think a lot of it could have been avoided if I’d seen more characters like myself in fiction, so that’s my goal in writing what I do.

Any other comments?

I just want to say thank you for running this blog and this series, and to everyone who’s reading and who is interested in asexual representation in fiction. Things have improved so much in the last ten years, when realizing I was ace was akin to a social death sentence and the only alternative was to shove myself back in the closet for a decade and pretend to be “like everyone else.” I never would have imagined, back then, that there would be resources like this and Asexual Artists, places where I could meet not just other aces, but other ace writers—I’ve even made a group of friends who all write sci-fi and fantasy, and we’re opening a blog soon where we talk about our experiences as aces and writers. I could never have dreamed that there’d be a world where asexual stories would be wanted. I just hope that our stories will help other aces feel comfortable in their skin and make people realize that we’re not robots or sideshow spectacles—we’re normal people, just like anyone else!

Perchance to Dream is set to release June 30th and Fourth World should be out in November. I know I’ll be eagerly waiting for them both and I hope you check them out too. Check out her website to learn more about Lyssa Chiavari or follow her on twitter and tumblr.