A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Introduction by Andrew Bretz
Preface by Martha Burns
$14.95, 6" X 9", 150 pp, paperback,
Shakespeare probes both the light and the dark side of love in this popular comedy, as unseen beings manipulate individual perceptions in the forest beyond the civilized world.
The Canadian critic Northrop Frye argued that “the
action of the comedy begins in a world represented
as a normal world” and from there “moves into
the green world, goes into a metamorphosis there
in which the comic resolution is achieved, and returns to the normal world.” In this conception,
the forest is a place of both literal and metaphorical
transformation and maturation.
–From the Introduction by Andrew Bretz
Most unforgettable of all was the heart filling moment at the end when Puck spoke directly to us,
her/his mischief swelling to warm generosity. Like
Shakespeare himself, this creature first turned the
world inside out and then assured us that it would
be all right, in fact better, and that amends could always be restored.
–From the Preface by Martha Burns
Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, is a trickster and jester known for both the trouble he causes and the luck he brings in the human world. He is a woodland sprite from English folklore defined by his mischievousness and occasional malice (or at best amoral behaviour) towards humans. He aids
Oberon though his mischievousness results in much of the humour and horror found in the mismatched love affairs.
–From the Character Synopses
In the final act of the play, Hippolyta and Theseus have trouble understanding how all of the youths could have either dreamed the same dream or truthfully seen what they claim. ... When the final play-within-a-play ends, the couples and their attendants retire to bed. The Fairies and Puck return to conclude the play with a dance and an appeal to the audience requesting that they, like the lovers, look on anything that offended them as nothing more than a dream.
–From the Plot Synopsis
Introduction by Daniel Fischlin
Preface by Paul Gross
$19.95, 6" X 9", 270 pp, paperback,
ISBN 978-1-77244-000-3, 270 pp.
Shakespeare’s longest and perhaps most influential play probes the darkest reaches of human life: despair, powerlessness, uncertainty, and mortality, as well as the larger political issues of corruption, iniquity, and treason.
From productions of Hamlet at Stratford to Robert
LePage’s Elsineur (1995) and Yves Sioui Durand /
Jean-Frédéric Messier’s Hamlet-le-Malécite (2004),
Hamlet seems to be a ghost haunting the Canadian
collectivity, as undead as the ghost of Hamlet’s
Hamlet is bottomless, deep beyond our capacity to compass, navigating the most guarded mysteries of our lives. Yet, for all its mystery, it is a play that speaks simply and almost privately to everyone who attends,regardless of background or age, touching everyone from eight to a hundred and eight, a play that you return to throughout a lifetime and each experience adds something to your deeper understanding of this “quintessence of dust.”
—From the Preface by Paul Gross
Hamlet incites a spectrum of creative possibilities that begins and ends in the interrogative mode, that addresses ineffable questions of identity and longing for right action, and that addresses the inexpressibility of death as a certain end to all human endeavour. ... Interpretive struggles
to read the world, a spectral world capable of ghosts and hauntings but also a material world of corruption and evil, make Hamlet’s effort to take a righteous course of action profoundly tragic.
–From the Introduction by Daniel Fischlin
At thirty years old Hamlet was the heir-apparent to the Danish throne until his uncle, Claudius, usurped the kingship after Old Hamlet’s death. After being requested by his father’s ghost to revenge his murder, Hamlet finds himself battling an identity crisis as he tries to consolidate all of his responsibilities and relationships and the changing nature of what it is to be a son, prince, friend, and lover.
–From the Plot and Character Synopses
THE SANDERS PORTRAIT
This compelling likeness of William Shakespeare
is named for the man who owned (and perhaps
painted) the portrait, John Sanders. The portait
has been owned by this family for over 400 years.
In 1919 it was brought to Canada by family members Agnes Hales Sanders (grandmother of the current owner, Lloyd Sullivan).
The Sanders family lived in the same neighbourhood as William Shakespeare and would have had connections through guild membership with him. Experts and scholars have carefully examined the portrait. Scientific dating, geneological history and internal evidence continue to hold strong. The painting’s label is dated 1603, the year of Shakespeare’s elevation to a member of the King’s Men. This was likely the reason for the
portrait’s creation. This elevation in status also allowed Shakespeare access to the silver thread and other elements of his dress that would have, the year earlier, been restricted to him by sumptuary laws.
Partnering with current owner, Lloyd Sullivan,
recent research from the Canadian Adaptations
of Shakespeare Project (CASP) at the University
of Guelph have established the portrait as the
only true likeness of Shakespeare painted in his
SHAKESPEARE MADE IN CANADA
Daniel Fischlin (University of Guelph), General Editor
ROMEO AND JULIET, Revised Edition
Introduction by Jill L. Levinson
Edited and with notes by Daniel Fischlin
Preface by Sky Gilbert
$14.95, 6" x 9", paperback, 184 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-039-3
Although writers since antiquity had recognized and recorded the experience of adolescence, none had dramatized it so comprehensively. --Jill L. Levenson
Shakespeare Made in Canada is a series of editions of Shakespeare’s plays with a national focus. A testament to the University of Guelph’s commitment to the dissemination of research on the arts in Canada, and in particular to the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project run since 2004 by Guelph professor Daniel Fischlin, the series aims to celebrate “Canadians doing Shakespeare for over 150 years” … and to provide teaching texts for Canadian undergraduate students. Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, the first editions in the series, advance these commemorative and pedagogical aims imaginatively…. [E]ach includes a preface by a Canadian playwright involved with an adaptation of the play as well as an introduction by a leading Canadian scholar. In addition to a play-text complete with original new annotation for students, each edition contains a plethora of pedagogical aids that are sure to make this series popular among undergraduates in particular…. In her introduction to Romeo and Juliet in this series, Jill L. Levenson argues that adaptations of Romeo and Juliet since the Restoration have often deconstructed the story that Shakespeare dramatized…. Levenson’s statements about Canadian adaptations of Romeo and Juliet supply fresh insight into the nation’s ongoing culture conflicts. —Joel Benabu, Shakespeare Bulletin
The Shakespeare Made in Canada volumes are inexpensive paperbacks featuring new editions of the play-texts…. [C]lear and comprehensive act and scene summaries narrate the action and highlight thematic hotspots…. In his preface to Romeo and Juliet, theatre artist extraordinaire Sky Gilbert … finds the play to be absolutely relevant today: “The concerns in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet are also our concerns.” —Susan Knutson, Literary Review of Canada
Overpowering adolescent passion at odds with a troubled adult world: this ancient tale was never more grippingly told than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, where two youths come together in a love that is both transformative and death-marked. The society around them lacks flexibility, failing to govern this destabilizing energy. Shakespeare scholar Jill L. Levenson—whose work on this play has opened new readings of Romeo and Juliet internationally—shows how the play’s treatment of gender, class, sexuality, and political fragmentation has found rich resonance in Canada. There are a variety of surprisingly creative adaptations not just in French and English but also, for example, in French and Attikamek. From ballet to Ann-Marie MacDonald’s award-winning play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Romeo and Juliet remains a compelling exploration of passion and violence.
Introduction by Daniel Fischlin
Preface by Judith Thompson
$14.95, 6" x 9", paperback, 200 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1772440263
In an age of power politics, Donald Trump and ethical depravity, Macbeth remains one of the most compelling dramas of overwhelming political ambition in the English language. The events that follow Macbeth's "ambition without conscience" can still shock a modern audience.
This new edition includes an original playtext and extensive notes. Other features of the Shakespeare Made in Canada series include character and plot synopses, a note on the text, and tips on reading Shakespeare. A new preface by playwright Judith Thompson reveals her own troubled interaction with the play. Professor Daniel Fischlin's compelling new introduction explores key topics in Macbeth; his research into the play's production history also reveals some fascinating Canadian connections to Macbeth that take us into a world of political ambition, corruption and assassination.
ROCK'S MILLS PRESS BOOKS THAT MATTER
THE TEMPEST, Revised Edition
Introduction and notes by Daniel Fischlin
Preface by Daniel David Moses
$14.95, 6" x 9", paperback, 146 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-038-6
The voice of slave Caliban rings most clearly to my twenty-first century Iroquoian ears, singing drunkenly, hopefully, of freedom. --Daniel David Moses
Shakespeare Made in Canada is a series of editions of Shakespeare’s plays with a national focus. A testament to the University of Guelph’s commitment to the dissemination of research on the arts in Canada, and in particular to the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project run since 2004 by Guelph professor Daniel Fischlin, the series aims to celebrate “Canadians doing Shakespeare for over 150 years” … and to provide teaching texts for Canadian undergraduate students. Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, the first editions in the series, advance these commemorative and pedagogical aims imaginatively…. [E]ach includes a preface by a Canadian playwright involved with an adaptation of the play as well as an introduction by a leading Canadian scholar. In addition to a play-text complete with original new annotation for students, each edition contains a plethora of pedagogical aids that are sure to make this series popular among undergraduates in particular.—Joel Benabu, Shakespeare Bulletin
The electric connect between the First Nations and the Bard is front and centre in Fischlin’s Canadian edition of Shakespeare’s last play, and rightly so, for The Tempest is widely seen as Shakespeare’s commentary on European colonial expansion…. Fischlin’s introductory essay plunges into significant Canadian debates provoked by this play….”—Susan Knutson, Literary Review of Canada
Europeans collide with an unknown new world in this curious play, filled with magic, corruption, intrigue, lust, and full-on comedy. Written and staged around 1610, The Tempest reflects a contemporary fascination with those mysterious and foreign parts of the world newly available to European exploration and exploitation. How would old and new worlds interact? Few come off surrounded by virtue in Shakespeare’s drama. Daniel Fischlin—the ingenious creator of the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project—has written an excellent introduction that provides dark and delightful new ways to understand this play, including insights from Northrop Frye, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and Normand Chaurette.