Billy the Bard Gives Richie the Third a Boost

Now is the winter of our discontent. These classic lines from Shakespeare’s play Richard III will presumably be said by Chris Roberts when he stars as the legendary hunchbacked king at this weekend’s performances.

Shakespeare for Short

Shakespeare for the Masses is back and they are bringing Henry V with them. The Young prince Henry of Henry IV has now matured into a man, with manly desires — thus the decision to conquer France. “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

Lines like that make going to war sound almost cozy.

The play usually runs a few hours, but a Shakespeare for the Masses production always rolls in at just under an hour. They are always free, too. Yes, free, the better to spread the words of the master and send us all “Once more into the breach, dear friends...”

Theatre for the Masses

To go to the theatre or not to go? That could be the question, except here on the Vineyard this weekend. Shakespeare for the Masses is back and doing Hamlet, the first play the troupe performed when it began five seasons ago. Shakespeare for the Masses is, one could say, a return to the time of Billy the Bard — William Shakespeare to most. When he wrote and produced his plays, Shakespeare was indeed for the masses.

Shakespeare for the Masses Takes The Tempest to the Lighthouse

There is some belief that Shakespeare’s The Tempest was intended to be set on Martha’s Vineyard. This theory is based on the rumored friendship between William Shakespeare and Bartholomew Gosnold, the explorer who discovered the Vineyard in 1602. Of course, those rumors are impossible to prove, but they do provide an interesting link between one of the most celebrated poets and playwrights of all time, and the Island where we so often stage revivals of his work.

Shakespeare Washes Ashore

Shakespeare Washes Ashore

Frost on the ground, gray and windy days, the clocks about to fall back, yes, the off-season is definitely upon us. And if those harbingers aren’t enough, here comes Shakespeare for the Masses’ first outing.

Slaying Macbeth for the Masses

Slaying Macbeth for the Masses

Shakespeare for the Masses, which stages “dramatically incorrect” adaptations of the Bard’s works, concludes its third season this weekend with The Tragedy of Macbeth. Call it the antidote to Royal Wedding Overload.

More, More and Some More Please

More, More and Some More Please

Seems greed, debt, overspending and the desire for bailouts did not begin with Ben Bernanke, George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

Shakespeare for the Masses is going obscure again — hands up who has heard of, let alone seen, Timon of Athens? (Yes, it’s a play). But wisely the object of their obscure performance is money, filthy lucre, the now-green stuff, the gold standard of gimme, gimme, gimme.

Shakespeare Delighted, Irate By Winter’s Tale Reworking

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.

A Magic-Sad Affair

Editor’s note: On Sunday, Nicole Galland posted a thank-you on Facebook for all who attended the Saturday show by Shakespeare for the Masses, a loose group that stages hour-long edited-for-fun versions of the Bard’s plays for free; such a thank-you is not an unusual thing for her to post. Except she called it a “magic-sad night.” Asked why, she sent the following reply, which has been slightly edited for style and clarity.

Julius, Seize Her: This Is Shakespeare?

The Ides of March are coming a month late to the Vineyard.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, and Vineyarders are invited to Shakespeare for the Masses’ staging of Julius Caesar at the Pit Stop this weekend.