ASCOTS: Assemble!

The ASC Old Timers are back in town, getting ready to do in three days what the campers do in three weeks. We’ve only been convened for about 16 hours, but we’ve managed to have a BBQ, reveal our show (The Tempest), cast that show (by picking roles out of a mug), assign secret sonnets, and get well into being Ralph’d.

Welcome BBQ at Adrienne’s house.

Getting Ralph’d over breakfast.

I must confess, The Tempest has never been my favorite. I’m excited to tackle it with this intrepid group of ASCOTS in order to discover the joy and love within this play I’ve never really enjoyed or loved. Apparently, Ralph used to share my lackluster opinion of this particular Shakespearean saga only to recently have his eyes opened to this play’s unique beauty. 

What is The Tempest about? Forgiveness. This is a play about forgiveness.

– Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen

The casting mug spoketh and thus it spake.

We’ll be performing this opus at the Blackfriars Playhouse THIS SATURDAY (August 12) at midnight. Join us! It’s free, fantastical, fierce, and fun.

Click here to go to the Facebook event.

Getting Ralph’d again! Session 2 takes a turn.

I took lots of video during Ralph’s lecture today, so I could try and show the folks watching at home what it’s like to “get Ralph’d.”

I figure between videos and photos, I could probably stop talking altogether. But that would not be a very accurate depiction of the camp experience, to be fair. Loquacious Lia needs to have her say.

Valerie agrees with me, and Ralph is making a funny face. Let’s focus on what’s important.

Lest you think the day was all Pestle and no substance, here’s a bonus video of Hillel taking on one of Ralph’s favorite characters – Don Armado, from Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Here’s hoping you feel a little Ralph’d — even if it’s just through the computer screen.

Getting Ralph’d


One of my personal favorite things about Camp is introducing a room full of whipsmart young adults to my boss’s boss, the co-founder and Director of Mission of the American Shakespeare Center and the founder of the Mary Baldwin University Shakespeare & Performance graduate program, Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen — – or, as Sarah Enloe likes to call him, “the southern Baptist preacher of Shakespeare.”

When students ask me about my experience in graduate school, I always start by telling them that in the first year of the S&P program, you get Ralph’d. And you get Ralph’d hard. Getting Ralph’d is an over-the-top affirmation of loving “that thing you love” — in our case, Shakespeare. Imagine: the man who built the Blackfriars Playhouse sitting (standing and jumping in excitement is probably more like it, if we’re being accurate) with you as you discover together just how much feeling Shakespeare could cram into 5 little words.

I wish I could give the campers three years of Ralphing, but alas, three hours will have to do. Here’s just a taste of that Ralph sampling:

Come see the fruits of this labor when the campers perform on Sunday, July 9.