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Shakespeare at the Arb |

Shakespeare at the Arb


Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival

July 31st, 2016

The Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival joins us for our second year together for this one time special event. Join us as our gardens become fairyland with A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Enjoy as King Oberon and Puck wreak havoc on humans and the fairy queen alike–all in the majesty of the Arboretum’s garden with the Peaks as their backdrop. Shakespeare’s masterpiece has never been seen in such an appropriate setting.

Shakespeare Fall Fest

October 16th and 17th, 2016

Fresh from their resounding first-season success, the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival is delighted to be presenting an exclusive performance of Romeo and Juliet in a special arrangement for eight actors, performed previously only at The Globe in London. Flashing blades and doomed lovers will thrill your heart in one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. The troupe is eager to bring you this exciting new production filled with dazzling romance and fast-paced fight choreography.

Shakespeare Herbs Lecture

October 16th

Throughout William Shakespeare’s plays, herbs, flowers, and the elements play an important role in everything from plot progression to imagery. However, the most common and meaningful usage of herbs in Shakespeare’s plays is their symbolic meaning. Elizabethans associated herbs with import life events such as births, weddings, and funerals. Elizabethan’s also turned to herbalism as medicine when their lives were in danger and as a talisman when their fortunes were uncertain. In this lecture we will explore the important underlying symbolism and exquisite imagery of the herbs in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additionally, we will explore the lore behind the two herbs that propel the plots of these two plays: Juliet’s “distilling liquor,” which will afford her the “borrow’d likeness of shrunk death” and Oberon’s “little western flower” struck by Cupid and capable of making “or man or woman madly dote/Upon the next live creature that it sees.”

Specific herbs and flowers I will look at:

  • wild thyme
  • rosemary
  • paris (aka truelove)
  • poppy (opium)
  • mandragora
  • wormwood
  • Mandrake
  • Harts ease (wild pansy, love-in-idleness)
  • marjoram
  • hyssop
  • sage
  • St. John’s Wort