It's a funny thing—I see this happen over and over again. ;-) Once a person becomes a Shakespeare Reader, especially a close reader, never again can they accept a performance, whether live or on film, at face value. We become fierce critics and spend hours after a performance discussing what the actors didn't understand or how could they possibly misinterpret that particular bit or how could they cut such an important piece from the play! It's hilarious.
This charming propensity for criticism (“criticism" in the sense of appraisal, analysis, and commentary) shows me several things. One: it embodies the wonderful and personal relationship we can develop with the Shakespearean works if we actually know and understand the plays, which is something we gain from reading. Two: it creates animated discussion points for a community of people who might otherwise have absolutely nothing in common. Three: it stimulates our whole brain because we not only internalize the production on an emotional level, but put into words what we loved or hated or would have done differently if we were to direct the play. And four: the outpouring of passion never fails to illuminate even more ideas. And friendships.
Have you seen a production lately that exceeded your expectations? Or one that wasn't quite up to snuff, in your opinion? Would you have done something differently? Let us know in the comments below!