What’s Your Favorite Shakespeare Play?

Do you have an easy answer? I don’t!

I have favorite productions, sure.

  • The Taming of the Shrew, American Conservatory Theatre, 1976
  • Hamlet, Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, 1982
  • Pericles, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1989
  • Fleetwood Macbeth, Troubador Theatre Company, 2011
  • Henry IV, Part 1, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2017
  • Love’s Labor’s Lost, Folger Theatre, 2019

And I have most influential Shakespeare plays. Hamlet, for instance: I can’t count how many different ways I’ve played the “To be or not to be” speech. (I mean, I probably could count them, but it’s a lot.) The Tempest — its characters and its metaphors — has directly inspired both my adaptation of Frankenstein and my recent RSC script (co-written by Reed Martin), William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Long Lost Shakes is also deeply influenced by Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV Part 1, Macbeth — and Walt Disney’s Fantasia.

I definitely have least favorite Shakespeare plays…but that’ll be the subject of another essay.

So I guess, if forced to choose, my favorite Shakespeare play is The Comedy of Errors — ‘cuz it’s the shortest.

What’s your favorite Shakespeare play?

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