My daughter's turning 10 and she wanted her birthday to involve Shakespeare. Fortunately there's a free summer Shakespeare festival in Fresno and we can take her and her friends to see the Merchant of Venice under the stars. We could be admitted to the amphitheater at 7 and party at a picnic table or on the grass there until the show starts at 8, or we could set things up earlier elsewhere in the park, but not much earlier, because it's hot here in July. Any tips or ideas?
I was thinking we could have a bit of a Venice Carnevale theme and decorate masks, but maybe we should just keep it to simple food and cake or we'll be too rushed. That's as far as we've gone. Any ideas on this? Thanks so much.
By Jen from Fresno, CA
I think that you wouldn't need much more than a picnic supper and cake before the play. This is a pretty full evening. You might want to do some research on the play, and talk about the plot with the kids before they see the play. I have taken my kids, who are now adults, to see Shakespeare, starting when they were 5, but the tragedies, with swordfighting and so on are easier to follow than the comedies, as it is tough to get the jokes. Merchant of Venice is a pretty complicated plot.
KISS - Keep it Simple, Sister! Forego the cake and bring a variety of cookies (maybe pizzellas or biscottis), sub sandwiches, with an Italian flair, chilled grapes and strawberries, and individualized waterbottles (landfills, y'know) as a takehome!
http://www.teachersfirst.com/lessons/shak-feast.htm has some ideas and links on cooking in that time period. Sounds like fun!
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