Perhaps it is a normal thing for a 9-year-old to develop an affinity for William Shakespeare. I don't know. I think it may be somewhat unusual, too.
And yet, I did. I feel it a unique blessing to have lived in Cedar City, Utah and to have had access to the Utah Shakespearean Festival early in my life. A Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest; these were the plays that introduced me to the Bard, to his intricate language, irreverent humor, and magical settings. I was hooked. There was something so compelling about the open-air theatre, the elaborate costumes, and the beauty of language, most of which I probably didn't understand.
I was even in my elementary school's production of The Tempest, which proved to have had a lasting impact, when I named my youngest daughter, Miranda, after the young heroine of that play.
Throughout my life, I have retained a fondness for the works of Shakespeare, though my opportunities to see them performed have diminished.
Last month, as kind of a post-wedding treat, my Miranda and I planned an outing to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We purchased tickets for two productions, made reservations at a charming downtown hotel, and then began counting the days until our trip.