If Shakespeare Ran a Zoom

I chose to listen to a Shakespeare play done by the Royal Shakespeare theater. I had my earphone in while I was cleaning the kitchen. I wanted to escape into the lovely dramatic enunciation of the THEATAH.

I am not the only one. It’s been a lot of being home. We have not gotten much art in our separation.

What we do have is a lot of screen time and zoom meetings.

And masks. Not the fun theater kind–the kind that makes you wonder if other people are mad at you from 6 feet away.

I wanted a little break. Royal Shakespeare company, a comforting bottle of pine sol and my earbuds. I was cleaning my kitchen with world class actors speaking the beautiful old-fashioned pentameter.

But wait…I wasn’t paying attention. Did I miss something? Is that queen actually sincere when she is planning her support of the step-daughter? I thought she didn’t like her.

I wasn’t going to rewind to make sure I understood the intention. But then I remembered:

Shakespeare is not subtle. If that queen is plotting a demise but saying sweet words, the bard will have her do a stage whisper aside. My face cracked in a smile. Good old Will. He puts in the reversals, but he leaves BIG CLUES to make sure we can follow along.

And I did pause the play at that point. He got it right. He is as true now as he was 500 years ago.

Zoom meetings are exhausting, right? Everyone says so.

I’ve heard that a good policy in these tiring meetings is, when you have a question? Repeat it three times.

One time
Two times

Got that? Everybody ready?
Three times

There are a lot of things competing for our attention. It’s crazy out there. It takes a few tries to make sure the message is heard.

I need to do my Zooms like Shakespeare showed us. You can get through all kinds of twists, substitutions and mistaken identities if you keep stating the facts. We can get through it if we stick to this idea:

“Speak plain and to the purpose.”

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