In PLAY THE FOOL, Laurence Gardiner returns home after university with a BA in theatre, devoid of opportunity and passion. But when an encounter with a ghost (there’s always a ghost) transports him to a strange land, the world of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, his senses are reawakened. In his hometown, he discovers the ghost’s unfinished adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, which he is determined to complete, while in the world of the play, he embodies the character of Launcelot, the Fool. Here, he throws off the idyllic life of the fool to save Jessica, who finds herself in increasing danger.
Laurence shifts between worlds, determined to succeed in both. In his small town, he gathers a motley crew of community theatre actors to complete his new adaptation: one that recaptures the overlooked character, Jessica. This version of Laurence is meek, and struggles to overcome clashing personalities and poor working conditions, fighting to keep his sinking ship afloat until they reach the shore that is their finished production.
In Venice, the Fool is hopelessly in love with Jessica. Jessica, who, driven by lust, left her father and Jewish background, and eloped with her love. However, she discovers that reality does not live up to her dreams. Her new husband is not the dashing hero, and she is as much an outsider in her new world as she was in her old. At first, Laurence’s mission is to free her from this life, to cheer her up and maybe win her love, but as Jessica begins to unravel, Laurence discovers that she is an unwilling participant in a conspiracy to overthrow the Duke of Venice, a conspiracy that, if she’s not careful, will claim her life. One wrong move in either world and Laurence loses Jessica: her fictional self and her real one.
It's the first night of Chanukah, and Natalie returns to her parents home after a prolonged absence. But as the candles burn low, past demons come to play. It's supposed to be the Festival of Light, but as Natalie confronts a past, there is only darkness.
For wonderful wintery tales, check out the collection of strong, diverse writers:
He tried being a man. He tried being a mouse. Today, he'll be a tree.
In early 2015, as I was transition from life as a touring actor in Toronto to a substitute teacher in Calgary, between exploring the city and trying to establish my career, I wrote for the blog, The Shakespeare Standard, specifically for their education section. While unfortunately, I was not able to balance these two concurrent events, and life and career was the priority, I was grateful to have the opportunity for my great passions (writing, Shakespeare, and education) to come together so neatly.
Here is my small selection of posts with the Shakespeare Standard.
Check here to keep up with their newest posts as they continue their great work with Shakespeare culture, scholarship, and education.
In Virgil's Aeneid, the hero Aeneas goes into the Underworld, as heroes are wont to do. Learning what he needs to learn, he and the Sibyl, his guide, come to two gates that would take them out of the Underworld.
There are two gates of sleep. The one, they say,
In honour of the hero's return through the gate of "false dreams", I submit in this collection of short stories tales of trickery and wonder: where the human will to thrive in a cruel world is tested against the mettle of six-foot pigeons; where our image-driven society crashes against a hermit's shores; where a guy down on his luck is shown just how small he is in the grand scheme of things.
These stories cast light on the search for a fulfilling life, but the light bounces off polished ivory.