I've often had a repeated relationship to Shakespeare's work which is that I feel close to the world and distanced from the words. I often felt that I belong to his plays when I understand the circumstances of the play: his description of nature, the sense of loss, the sickening belief in fate! I find that there is something in Shakespeare's environment and "Alchemy" that speaks to me deeply and that it wasn't the language.
I have been looking for an experience to bridge the gap for me and connect the dots. As I stepped into the first rehearsal of Cymbeline, with Tina Pacer, I thought I'd be dealing with someone who treats Shakespeare's work like a Bible- she did but in a different way.
I finally met the legendary lady, who is in her late 70s but looks like she's 7 when she's watching a play. Very smart, incredibly intelligent, and most importantly: incredibly worldly.
To be truthful, I often find it hard to connect with people who treat Shakespeare's work so holy and talk non stop about the language. I feel that I don't belong the to worlk and I don't understand it and I feel excluded.
Tina didn't ignore the language but she was asking much bigger questions and searching for much deeper meaning. Much more human. That felt so inclusive and international to me that risen up to the work of the bard. She acknowledged his world and our world way more than she talked about the brilliance of his language.
Don't get me wrong, she had an incredibly deep understanding of the power of language (that she gave me permission to use Arabic in the Dropping In method that she uses). But, to her there was something bigger, lived within the language and without it as well.
We had a room that had more than 6 different nationalities and we were all creating this piece of art that was explosive, funny, moving, timely, and profound. I didn't feel like a stranger and I didn't feel like a foreigner. I felt seen and valued and I felt like a colleague.
I'm forever changed because of that experience and the way that Tina Packer brilliantly grasp the words to reach to the world!