Shakespeare for the Masses is free. It’s also the quickest way to get your Billy the Bard on. Shows clock in at under an hour. Some thee’s and thou’s, here a sonnet, there a sonnet, hopefully a beheading or two and, of course, love olde English style and then you’re back out on the streets of Tisbury pleasantly buzzed if not a bit bewildered by a sudden thirst for vengeance at the injustice some rival king has played upon you.

On March 18 and 19 at the Vineyard Playhouse the crew is slicing and dicing their way through one of the master’s last plays, The Winter’s Tale. As usual there is a resemblance to the original work but a free hand is given to the editing.

There will be ugly behavior (King Leontes puts his wife and young son in jail), there will be death (both wife and son die in jail), there will be even uglier human behavior (Leontes condemns a bastard baby to death by exposure to the elements) and there will be normal animal behavior done by animals (evidently the baby is eaten by a bear).

This is a romance after all.

Curtain rises at 7 p.m. Be there or be forever doomed to a life of mediocrity.

The sacred Delphic Oracle of Apollo has spoken.