Friday, April 13, 2012

Lit Aloud Hosts "An Evening of Mah Jongg, Shakespeare Style"

Jean Anderson's Lit Aloud group recently hosted a play performed by some of their fellow NKA members. Entitled "An Evening of Mah Jongg, Shakespeare Style," the 50-minute comedy sketch concerns four of Shakespeare's most well-known female characters getting together for an evening to play Mah Jongg. 
Cast members (left to right): Donna Jordahl as the narrator, Cheryl Lyda as Miranda (The Tempest), Carol Nelson as Queen Gertrude (Hamlet's mother in Hamlet), Pat Bystrom as Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), and Penelope Reedy as Juliet's Nurse (Romeo and Juliet).

The dialogue features many of Shakespeare's famous quotes adapted to apply to the game of Mah Jongg. Cheryl Lyda, the play's writer/director, said the idea was conceived during her regular Tuesday afternoon Mah Jongg group when one player quoted a line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and another player immediately responded with the next line. 
In this play, even audiences who haven't read Shakespeare's plays will recognize his most famous quotes, such as "To be or not to be," "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day," and "Out, damned spot." 
A brief overview of Mah Jongg was given for audience members unfamiliar with the game, which requires a combination of luck and strategy. By drawing, discarding, and claiming discarded tiles, players seek to form a winning hand and declare "Mah Jongg."

It was hard to tell which group was enjoying the performance more: the audience or the actors themselves!

To read more about the play, to to